Review of vocational education and training programs in informing the future seaweed industry in South Sulawesi

woman seated and wearing veil listening to woman who is seated and speaking

Improving the skills of the workforce is a key priority for the Indonesian government and this can be achieved by enhancing the quality of the curriculum, teaching staff and working closely with industry.


Indonesia is rich in renewable natural resources and South Sulawesi is the largest seaweed producing area in the country.

This report finds the current education and training programs offered by vocational high schools (VET) and marine and fisheries polytechnics in South Sulawesi are not aligned to the region’s economic potential when it comes to knowledge and skills in seaweed processing.

This study aims to address this challenge by:
• gaining a comprehensive understanding of the current VET programs offered by a sample of vocational high schools and polytechnics in South Sulawesi that prepare students for the seaweed processing industry
• identify the skills required by the seaweed processing industry in South Sulawesi
• mapping VET provider programs to industry needs with a focus on required skills and competencies
• developing recommendations for improving the current VET programs and offerings to meet the needs of the seaweed processing industry

The study used a qualitative approach and collected primary data through interviews with key representatives from VET providers and seaweed processing industries, including PT Sutraco, PT HAS, UD Masdin, PT Anugrah Agung Global and Kospermindo.

Secondary data were collected from the Vocational Training Centre, the South Sulawesi Provincial Maritime and Fisheries Service and the South Sulawesi Regional Research and Development Agency (BAPPELITBANGDA).


Read full report, Review of vocational education and training programs in informing the future seaweed industry in South Sulawesi


The study found that much of the material taught at VET providers has little relevance to the needs of the South Sulawesi seaweed processing industry, which mainly produces semi-refined products.

We propose six recommendations to improve VET programs and support the development of the seaweed processing industry in South Sulawesi:

  • Develop a curriculum that includes seaweed processing as a specific subject taught during at least one semester in both vocational high schools (Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan – SMK) and polytechnics. Non-formal VET providers like the Work Training Agency (BLK) should provide practical-short term training courses to enable workers to become independent and develop their own small businesses.
  • Improve the practical modules and materials for seaweed processing in both vocational schools and polytechnics with consideration of the specific skills required by local industries that may change over time. Enhance the technical competency of teaching staff involved in seaweed processing-related subjects.
  • Provide support to VET providers so training can be undertaken in seaweed processing with appropriate equipment and laboratory facilities.
  • Align polytechnic student internships with the Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka (MBKM) program to enable students to gain work experience in the seaweed processing industry.
  • Provide more funding for research on seaweed processing, specifically from the provincial research and development agency (Balitbangda) with a focus on seaweed processing.
  • Promote short term training programs by the work training agency (BLK) aimed at fresh graduates (SMK and polytechnic levels) on processing seaweed to produce value-added products. Incorporate seaweed processing training programs into the national pre-employment training program.

Feature image by PAIR.