Building a Future Ready Workforce: Indonesia’s Talent Challenges and Education Initiatives


The French Tech Indonesia AI Summit 2023 hosted a captivating panel discussion titled “Building a Future-Ready Workforce: Indonesia’s Talent Challenges and Education Initiatives.” This panel was moderated by Anno Caron, People Strategy Expert and featured prominent speakers such as Professor Eko Indrajit from Perbanas Institute, William Irawan (CEO of PrimeSkills), Hirania Wiryasti (Community Engagement Specialist at Microsoft Indonesia), and Ken Ratri Iswari (Founder and CEO of Geekhunter). The event took place on October 10th at the Institut Français d’Indonésie (IFI) Jakarta.

Challenges in Indonesia’s Future Readiness

Indonesia is experiencing an economic boom and technological revolution, but the country faces several challenges in it’s future readiness. Ken Ratri Iswari, CEO of Geekhunter shares about tech talent shortages and data on the number of needed professionals. Prof. Eko Indrajit from Perbanas Institute later affirmed the need to enhance the Indonesian education system by shifting its emphasis from tool usage to fostering innovation and creation. This transformation aims to overcome challenges and elevate the quality of tech talent in the country. He presented President Jokowi’s perspective on the government’s diagnosis and priorities for catching up in education then emphasized the need for a bottom-up approach to curriculum development in diverse and heterogeneous Indonesia. He also underscored the crucial role of technology in meeting educational needs and scaling in Indonesia.

What Do We Need to be Ready?

William Irawan, CEO of PrimeSkills stressed the importance of continuous learning and soft skills in the age of artificial intelligence. He highlighted the gap between the skills needed by employers and those possessed by employees. He emphasized that critical thinking, problem-solving, and continuous learning are the key skills that will remain relevant in the future.

Meanwhile Hirania Wiryasti, Community Engagement Specialist at Microsoft Indonesia, added the importance of enterprise and skilling initiatives in Indonesia. She underscored the significance of enterprise for continued learning and career relevance. Hirania also mentioned Microsoft’s collaborations with ministries and partners to provide digital-AI skills training for teachers in Indonesia. This initiative was started as a solution for the challenges in education in Indonesia due to low literacy and the implementation of AI.

What’s Happening Now?

In the recruitment landscape, Ken shares that now companies are shifting towards valuing human capabilities over university degrees. Relevant skill sets are becoming more important in recruitment over education degrees. Startups are more flexible in hiring non-university graduates based on technical skills and portfolios.

In conclusion, the challenges faced by Indonesia in education and talent development, can be addressed through education, support systems, and diverse solutions. The country has immense potential, and with the right initiatives, it can become a leader in the global tech industry.


French Tech Indonesia Summit is an annual tech summit organized by La French Tech Indonesia and Business France. The event aims to foster innovation, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing within the local tech ecosystem, with a special focus this year on artificial intelligence. It will also be the occasion to celebrate La French Tech Indonesia’s labelisation as well as the 10th anniversary of La French Tech.

La French Tech is a French born community that went global. Today, it represents 68 communities in 50 countries around the world.