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Pangkalan Kerinci, located about 70km from Pekanbaru in Indonesia, is a small town which is known by very few outside it.

However, Kerinci’s main produce - pulp and paper – is used by millions of consumers in countries around the world.

Since 2005, it has also been a place that steadily produces human resources for the pulp and paper industry, thanks to the establishment of the APRIL Learning Institute (ALI).

The ALI was primarily founded with the aim of being an employee training and development centre for the APRIL Group, based on an initiative by APRIL Chairman Sukanto Tanoto, who was very concerned with the development and improvement of quality of each employee.

One of ALI's trainer was explaining the learning material

 

ALI Head, Fahrizal Tampubolon, who has been part of APRIL for 15 years, said that the main goal of the centre is to ensure that all employees are proficient, in terms of both their technical and soft skills.

“ALI provides training for all employees in line with what is needed by the company,” Fahrizal explained.

Employees who undergo ALI training are also meant to benefit from growing personally and professionally, he added.

At present, ALI comprises six departments: Mill, Fiber, Transportation, Rayon, Soft Skills and Assessment Centre. There are 52 people who work at ALI, of whom seven are assessors while the rest are trainers.

“Every employee who is up for promotion must go through an assessment at ALI first,” Fahrizal shared.

In addition to providing training to employees, ALI conducts analysis of the company’s human resource needs in designated cycles throughout the year.

“At the end of the year, we conduct an analysis of what the company needs for next year. After that, we design and develop relevant training modules. Then we deliver the training to each employee who requires it,” he said.

He said that the results of the training will then be evaluated.

The presentation after discussing the learning material

 

“Has it met the needs of the employee and the company? If not, we will need to make modifications and improvements,” Fahrizal said.

ALI devises an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for each APRIL employee – which is job-specific – which maps out how their abilities will be developed at the centre.

“We first map out the skills which an employee needs. For example, an employee of a specific job desk may require a 12-skill set. If he has only mastered 10 of these skills, acquiring the remaining two will become his IDP.

“He must fulfil the goals of his IDP in the allotted time, which is usually six to 12 months,” Fahrizal explained.

Whereas some in-house training centres function more like training organizers, ALI provides 90 per cent of the company’s training needs, Fahrizal said.

“Most of them just look for trainings which are suitable for their employees. So we can say that there is no training centre which is as comprehensive as ALI,” he said.

Fahrizal expressed that he himself feels very lucky as someone who has been “produced by ALI”, as the centre has supported the development of his career from when he was at a lower position to where he is today.

“I do feel like an ALI product as I have previously undergone various kinds of training that ALI has provided. I would say that maybe without the training I received from ALI, I wouldn’t be in my current position as ALI Head,” he continued.

However, Fahrizal maintained that ALI should not shut itself off from the outside world as there is an abundance of knowledge out there to benefit from.

According to him, ALI frequently conducts comparative studies of various employee training centres overseas.

“I submitted a proposal to the company for us to get training in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). And thankfully, sometime ago I was sent to Orlando in the United States to attend an NLP licensed trainer course which was conducted directly by its creator, Dr. Richard Bandler,” Fahrizal said.

“As of now, we are the first company in Indonesia to have NLP certification,” he said.

Fahrizal emphasized that ALI is the largest employee training centre in Indonesia which does not source its human resources externally.

“So ALI has the motto ‘Grow Talent, Grow Trees’. We are creating quality employees from within ALI, and we have become a benchmark in the fiber and pulp and paper industry,” he said.

In 2017, ALI provided training to 9,197 employees and contractors working for the APRIL Group.

“We can say that ALI trains 5,000 employees in one year on average. ALI has been running for 12 years so there are approximately 60,000 employees who have been trained,” Fahrizal said.

 

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