The 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia guarantees the rights of every citizen to get a job. Article 27 paragraph 2 of the 1945 Constitution stipulates that every citizen shall be entitled to work and a living that is decent for humanity.

Based on data from the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Technology, the number of bachelor degree graduates reaches 1.7 million people every year. The majority of university graduates, or commonly called fresh graduates, do not have work experience the nature of higher education that focuses more on the academic aspects instead of the practical ones.

To prepare themselves to the workforce,  university students opt to take internship or apprenticeship programs that are offered by companies. Internships or apprenticeships are indeed the university students’ efforts to gain work experience and improve their abilities and competencies.

Internship or apprenticeship is regulated by law in Indonesia. Article 1 paragraph 11 of Law No. 13 on 2003 on Manpower stipulates that:

“Apprenticeship is part of a job training system that is conducted in an integrated manner between training in training institutions and working directly under the guidance and supervision of instructors ,or more experienced workers/laborers, in the process of producing goods and/or services in companies, in order to master the skills or certain skills”.

Internship or apprenticeship is a learning process for students to acquire and master a skill without and/or with the guidance of someone who is already skilled in a field of work. Internship or apprenticeship can also be referred to as the process of learning from an expert through activities in the real world. There are also those who suggest that internship or apprenticeship is a process of practicing the knowledge and skills acquired in university to solve real problems around them.

Companies that organize internship or apprenticeship programs are also regulated by law through Article 24 of Law No. 13/2003, which stipulates:
“Apprenticeships can be carried out in the company itself or at the place where job training is held, or in other companies, both within and outside the territory of Indonesia.”

One important thing to note in relation to  the implementation of the internship or apprenticeship program in accordance with Article 22 of Law No. 13/2003 is that internship or apprenticeship can be carried out on the basis of an agreement between the intern or apprentice and the company. The agreement stipulates the rights and obligations of both parties and the duration of the internship or apprenticeship. If it is not based on an agreement, the intern or apprentice’ status is unauthorized and his or her status must change to worker or laborer.

Articles 13 o the Regulation of the Minister of Manpower  No. 6/2020 on the Implementation of Domestic Apprenticeship stipulates the rights of interns or apprentices as follows:

  • obtain guidance from a supervisor or instructor;
  • obtain fulfillment of rights in accordance with the internship or apprenticeship agreement;
  • obtain occupational safety and health facilities while participating in the apprenticeship;
  • earn pocket money;
  • participation in social security programs, and:
  • obtain an internship or apprenticeship certificate, or a certificate of participation in the internship or apprenticeship program.

The internship or apprenticeship agreement is a form of guarantee and legal certainty to protect the rights and obligations of interns or apprentices and companies. The agreement can also be used to prevent exploitation of interns or apprentices in terms of work period, workload, and work hours. It also serves as a form of protection of dignity, and recognition of human rights.

Interns or apprentices can be referred to as legal subjects, if they fulfill the following elements:

  • there is protection from the government for its citizens;
  • guarantee of legal certainty;
  • relate to the rights of its citizens;
  • there are penalties for those who violate it.

The internship or apprenticeship program is supervised by the Labor Inspector (Pengawas Ketenagakerjaan) as stipulated in Article 28 paragraph 1 of the Regulation of the Minister of Manpower No. 6/2020. Articles 25 to 29 of the regulation also stipulates about the supervision of internship or apprenticeship.

The agreement between the intern or apprentice and the company has binding legal force, underlining obligations that must be carried out. Law No. 13/ 2003 and the implementing regulations also provide legal protection for interns or apprentices in relations to  the rights they receive.

Author / Contributor:

Fajar Thariq Rahartanto, S.H..



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