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Staying Sufficiently Proficient

Bali Hotel and Restaurant Professionals Obtaining Competency Certification in Anticipation of 2015 ASEAN Free Trade Policies

(10/19/2012) The Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali) has announced that through October 2012 around 7,000 tourism workers in Bali now hold competency certification.

Quoted by Seputarbali.com, Perry Markus, secretary of PHRI-Bali, commenting on the level of certification, said, “That total is still minimal representing only 4.5% of the total tourism work force of 150,000 in Bali.”

Markus stated that the competency certification process is very important to provide protection to members of the public in Bali who have worked for many years in the tourism sector and who will face competitive challenges when the free-trade regime between China and ASEAN is introduced in 2015.

It is expected that beginning in 2015 a number of products, services and employment opportunities will flow freely across Southeast Asia.

Explaining the implications of the coming policy change, Markus said: “This means that foreign workers for Southeast Asian nation can freely work in our country providing they hold a competency certificate. Similarly, our people (Indonesians) can work there (other Southeast Asian countries).”

The certification of competency is issued by the National Agency for Professional Certification and remains valid for three years. The certification is issues after applicants pass testing sessions conducted three times per year, A recent round of competency testing in Bali saw participation from 500 tourism workers representing area hotels and restaurants.

The certification program is being funded by the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy freeing those who participate in the certification of any cost.

The initial demand for competency testing exceeded expectations, causing Markus to say: “Considering the enthusiasm of tourism workers to obtain certification, we increased the quota (on the last round of testing) form 350 to 500 people."

The testing went on for three days, Perry explained that the tests examined 5 mains areas of basic competency. In the future, in order to make Balinese workers competitive with foreign hotel workers, 38 areas of basic competency are targeted for testing.