An M-Powered future: Shaping the next generation

This article is part of a series on M-Powered, an initiative undertaken by Microsoft Asia and local nonprofits in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to train youth and people with disabilities in IT, and improve their employability, connecting them to opportunities in the growing tech sector. 

For high school English teacher Adrianto Supardiono, one of his biggest motivations at work is watching his students mature into young, independent adults.

“Being able to share knowledge with my students and guide them in their journey towards adulthood is a blessing,” said Adrianto, who has worked at YCAB Foundation, Indonesia for close to five years. “It gives me a sense of fulfillment knowing the work I do helps shape their independence and future.”

Adrianto has been teaching English at YCAB for five years

However, Adrianto estimates that only about half of his students are successful in their job search after graduation. He observed that the key reason why many youth encounter difficulties securing employment is their lack of work readiness. This relates to the lack of confidence, teamwork and collaboration skills, and the willingness to constantly improve, among other things.

“Many of my students choose to look for work instead of pursuing further education because they feel compelled to contribute to their household,” said Adrianto. “However, many are unsuccessful because they don’t realize the importance of cultivating a work ready mindset, and honing the relevant hard skills and soft skills. My colleagues and I try our best to support them, but our resources are limited.”

And this issue is not unique to Adrianto’s students alone. While youth unemployment in Indonesia has been on the decline, the number remains higher than it was before 2000. To address the issue and enhance the employability of Indonesian youth, YCAB worked with Microsoft to develop the e-portal GenerasiBisa! as part of the M-Powered initiative in Asia.

The platform focuses on honing 21st century skills needed to answer the evolving demands of today’s increasingly digital workplace. E-learning courses on the platform are geared towards equipping young people with the hard skills and certifications needed for specific industries, while mentoring programs aim to nurture soft skills, such as teamwork and communication skills. Through the platform, youth can also keep themselves updated with the latest job opportunities, and learn about job fairs and other networking events.

With M-Powered, YCAB and Microsoft believe that they will be able to reach out to five million youth by 2020.

“The high number of young and productive people in the country shows a huge potential for Indonesia to improve the nation’s competitiveness,” said Hanif Dhakiri, Manpower Minister, Indonesia. “We hope that GenerasiBisa! platform can help improve the competence of Indonesian youth to become an independent and dignified generation that is spiritually, socially, and technically competent.”

For Adrianto, the online platform means that he has a readily available wealth of resources to turn to when his students come to him for career guidance. As a mentor on GenerasiBisa!, Adrianto actively encourages his students to download training courses and pursue mentorships to equip themselves with the core competencies required to meet the demands of today’s work environment.

“I’m optimistic that GenerasiBisa! will go a long way in helping young people in Indonesia in their job search,” said Adrianto. “With the opportunity to acquire and develop new skills, and connect with good role models who can provide valuable guidance, I’m sure that they will be able to create a better life for themselves and their families.”

Read the other stories in this series here.

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