In the district of Maros, next to Makassar – South Sulawesi’s capital and on the route of a new rail line – young people are quitting the village and heading to nearby cities.
It is now a familiar trend in developing economies. More youths are turning away from traditional farming roles. Even parents share a dream for their children – leave the farm, have an education, find a job.
Maros is changing. Agriculture still dominates, but more manufacturing and services are appearing. With 20 per cent of the population made up of young people (15-24 years), this is an opportunity and a challenge for local policymakers. Policymakers know that they will have to contend with high aspirations and low skills.
To help policymakers tackle this problem, The Australia-Indonesia Centre is collecting evidence on a range of issues. This evidence will help understand young people’s aspirations for life and work. It will also show opportunities to improve policies, address skills gaps and introduce targeted programs.