Turning Indonesia's Youthful Demographic Dividend into Economic Prosperity


As Indonesia hurtles toward the anticipated demographic bonus, a critical juncture that will see the nation's productive-age population exceed its non-productive age group by 2030, the country faces a momentous opportunity. To ensure that this demographic transition yields substantial benefits rather than descending into a demographic catastrophe due to inadequate planning, Mariko Asmara Yoshihara, the Co-Founder/Advisor of JAC Recruitment Indonesia and Founder of Ango Ventures, offers valuable insights into harnessing the potential of Indonesia's youthful and dynamic workforce.

With Indonesia's population reaching 275.7 million in 2022, catapulting it to the position of the world's fourth most populous nation according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS), it is imperative that the country makes strategic use of this vast demographic dividend.

Mariko, of Indonesian-Japanese descent and an expert in human resource development and recruitment, underscores the importance of specialization among professionals and recent graduates. "My advice is simple—focus on your core job. You need to be specific (in mastering a single skill)," she notes. She encourages individuals to develop skills that are relevant to their aspirations, such as learning Mandarin for those considering business with Chinese entrepreneurs or studying Indian languages for those targeting the Indian market.

Mariko observes that many Indonesian human resources tend to be generalists, lacking in-depth expertise in a specific skill. The prevalent trend of frequent job and field switches among professionals also dilutes their depth of experience. She advises individuals to invest their trust in their first employer, get to know the company well before joining, and commit for about five years. This approach, she believes, offers a broader spectrum of experiences compared to those who frequently change jobs.

Additionally, Mariko highlights the pivotal role of continuous education in capitalizing on the demographic bonus. She underscores that only 6 percent of Indonesia's population, exceeding 270 million, is currently pursuing higher education, which includes universities and polytechnics. This issue echoes the sentiments expressed by Vice President Ma'ruf Amin in May, who emphasized the government's aim to encourage higher education participation among Indonesian citizens to foster a more productive nation.

To delve deeper into these insights and recommendations, you can watch the complete discussion on the Edtech Cakap YouTube channel here.

Mariko's expertise and guidance come at a crucial time when Indonesia is poised for a transformative demographic shift, and her words carry significant weight as the nation prepares to embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

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