October 5, 2023
JAKARTA -A top Chinese railway company has said that Indonesia will benefit from the Whoosh high-speed railway (HSR) from Jakarta to Bandung, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia and a flagship project of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, especially in improving the quality of technicians and workers in the transportation sector.
Wang Yanchen, deputy chief engineer of China Railway International Co., Ltd., which handles the technical side of the Whoosh HSR, said the project created many work opportunities for Indonesian technicians.
Wang said that the China-Indonesia labor ratio was 1:4, and at some point it reached about 1:7, creating a total of 51,000 local jobs.
The project also involved the procurement of homegrown raw materials, including cement and other materials produced locally, he said.
The biggest benefit however comes from the transfer of knowledge and know-how from Chinese workers to Indonesian workers.
“Through the establishment of training institutions, “masters leading apprentices” for Chinese employees and on-site training, a total of 45,000 Indonesian employees have been trained, and many skilled workers in welding, electrical work, machinery and concrete pouring have been trained for the local area,” Wang said during a seminar recently held in Beijing.
To prepare for the opening of the Whoosh HSR, China and Indonesia started collaboration on preparatory work in late February of this year.
The Chinese side has assigned personnel to help the new railway run smoothly, including the deployment of Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) drivers, mechanics and operation control center dispatchers.
Indonesian trainees have received professional training and the first batch of operation and maintenance personnel have already started taking classes in the country. A total of 173 people were trained for a four-month study.
After the training program, the trainees were assessed and only after obtaining relevant work qualifications could they be involved in the operation and maintenance of the railway.
When reviewing the Whoosh HSR during the final trial phase on Sept. 6, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said this project is an example of cooperation between developing countries in the region to achieve modernization.
Li added that China is ready to share its expertise with Indonesia to help revitalize cities through HSR systems, and the infrastructure should serve as a path to integration, openness and common prosperity.