The manpower required and employed at oil palm plantations does not fit with labor conditions in the regions’ rural areas.

Tenaga kerja yang diperlukan/terserap perkebunan kelapa sawit tidak sesuai dengan kondisi tenaga kerja di daerah/pedesaan.

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In a bid to reduce unemployment in rural areas, it is necessary to develop economic sectors that would employ more labor, which is in line with the characteristics and backgrounds of rural labor. Oil palm plantations belong to an economic sector that is labor intensive. It is not only labor-intensive, but also accommodates the diverse skills of rural labors.

Generally, people in rural areas are mostly elementary school graduates or uneducated. About 49 percent of the productive age people in rural areas have primary school education and 49 percent are junior and senior high school graduates and only 2 percent have diplomas or Bachelor’s degrees, as shown in Figure (BPS, 2002).

The average education composition of laborers employed on oil palm plantations according to PASPI (2014) is as follows: about 51 percent have elementary school education, 16 percent have junior high school education, 30 percent have high school education and the remaining 4 percent have diplomas and Bachelor’s degrees. This is very similar to the composition of laborers available in the countryside.

In other words, the oil palm plantations are generally more accommodative to the background of laborers available in rural areas where the plantations are located. The view that the laborers employed by oil palm plantations do not match the quality of laborers in rural areas is not supported with facts.

Untuk mengurangi pengangguran di pedesaan perlu dikembangkan sektor-sektor ekonomi yang lebih banyak menyerap tenaga kerja yang sesuai dengan karakteristik/latar belakang tenaga kerja pedesaan. Perkebunan kelapa sawit merupakan sektor ekonomi dengan teknologi padat kerja (labor intensive). Tidak hanya padat kerja tetapi juga akomodatif terhadap keragaman mutu/skill tenaga kerja pedesaan.

Secara umum, struktur pendidikan penduduk di kawasan pedesaan sebagian besar merupakan tenaga kerja berpendidikan sekolah dasar ke bawah. Sekitar 49 persen usia kerja produktif di kawasan pedesaan berpendidikan SD ke bawah dan 49 persen berpendidikan SLTP sampai SLTA dan hanya 2 persen berpendidikan diploma/sarjana seperti disajikan pada Gambar  (BPS, 2002).

Komposisi rata-rata pendidikan tenaga kerja yang terserap di perkebunan kelapa sawit menurut PASPI (2014), sekitar 51 persen berpendidikan SD ke bawah, 16 persen berpendidikan SLTP, 30 persen berpendidikan SLTA dan sisanya 4 persen berpendidikan diploma/sarjana yang sangat mirip dengan komposisi tenaga kerja yang tersedia di pedesaan.

Dengan kata lain, perkebunan kelapa sawit secara umum lebih akomodatif terhadap latarbelakang tenaga kerja yang tersedia dikawasan pedesaan. Pandangan bahwa tenaga kerja yang terserap perkebunan kelapa sawit tidak sesuai dengan kualitas tenaga kerja di pedesaan adalah tidak didukung fakta.

Figure Comparison between the education of manpower in rural areas and those employed on oil palm plantations in Indonesia

Comparison between the education of manpower in rural areas and those employed on oil palm plantations in Indonesia

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