The Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association (PHRI) Invites Hotel and Restaurant Workers to Develop Skills Through Online Class by Cooperating with Education Startups

Jakarta, April 20, 2020 – The Directorate General of Training and Productivity Development, B Satrio Lelono, said that 2.8 million workers have lost their jobs nationwide as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. According to Jakarta Provincial Government through Manpower, Transmigration, and Energy Department (Disnakertrans), 16,065 workers were laid off, and 72,770 workers had to be furloughed without receiving a salary. The hotel and restaurant sectors are the most vulnerable sector after 1.642 hotels have temporarily closed their operations.

Head of Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Hariyadi B S Sukamdani, explained that hotel and restaurant sectors suffered at least experienced the potential loss of foreign exchange income in January-April tourism sector by 4 billion US dollars and the potential loss of hotel and restaurant revenue from domestic consumers of at least Rp 60 trillion. “The decline in the number of Chinese tourists can be calculated losses of 1.1 billion US dollars, if included with the decline in other foreign tourists there is at least a loss of 400 billion US dollars”.

Seeing this phenomenon, through Cakap for Hospitality program, PHRI took the initiative to partner with Cakap, a startup company that develops online language learning applications with two-way interaction, The signing of this cooperation agreement was carried out online in Jakarta, 21 April 2020.

Cakap for Hospitality is specifically designed to accommodate and support tourism and hospitality businesses by utilizing government assistance programs in the form of cost assistance aimed at job seekers, laid-off workers or workers who need competency improvement. In the hospitality industry through the pre-employment card. Aside from being a platform provider, Cakap is also a training institution in the ecosystem of partner training providers in pre-employment card programs.

“Recently, an estimation of 2 million workers in the hotel and restaurant sectors are severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, where most of them experience unpaid leave and are laid off because the company is experiencing cash flow difficulties so that the presence of the pre-employment card programs helps them to get cash incentives and opportunities to improve professional competence. The training module prepared by Cakap and supported by PHRI is expected to be used by all workers in the hotel and restaurant area receiving pre-employment card”, said Hariyadi Sukamdani in a teleconferenced.

This collaboration is expected to have a positive impact on all hotel and restaurant operators in Indonesia. PHRI and Cakap will provide certificates for hospitality training participants who register using pre-employment card programs.

Cakap for Hospitality has been running since the beginning of March 2020 as a form of initiative to support the hospitality industry to face COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia. Several hotels have joined this initiative, one of them is the Gran Melia Jakarta Hotel. According to Rudi Santoso, HR Director of Gran Melia Jakarta, “This program is a very appropriate breakthrough to build resilient Indonesian human resources during the current situation. English learning materials are delivered by professional instructors interactively and related to our daily work, my hope is that after the pandemic ends the employee’s English ability can be better, “said Rudi in his explanation through short messages.

Tomy Yunus, CEO of Cakap explained, “Utilization of technology during the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to reduce the negative impacts that caused. One of them is by utilizing downtime in the tourism industry effectively, especially for those who are directly affected”. The collaboration program with PHRI will provide access to online learning to increase and improve foreign language skills and content related to hospitality. “We are sure this will have a real positive impact on tourism and hospitality workers amid the industry’s sluggishness due to the pandemic”, he said.