Improving the welfare of workers and boosting their skills are the two main priorities of the Indonesian ambassador in Singapore, Ngurah Swajaya, and he believes that there is still much work to be done.

Speaking in a video as part of the Mission: SG series commissioned by Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore), Swajaya expressed his gratitude to the government of Singapore and to Singaporeans for their good treatment of migrant workers from his country.

There were nearly 180,000 Indonesians living in Singapore at the end of 2017, and a further 250,000 women working as domestic workers.

Swajaya, 56, who has been the ambassador since 2016, said that protecting the rights of his compatriots and improving their welfare were paramount, but be also wanted to equip workers with new skills and interests to prepare them for better career paths.

“I am also focusing on what we call as beyond protection, meaning to improve their resources or to facilitate a range of courses including barista courses on Sundays,” he explained.

The ambassador said coding programs provided by open universities were becoming popular among workers who were keen to pursue studies through distance learning. Quite a number had afterward become academic scholars themselves.