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Calls for a stronger relationship between business and career development in Russia’s higher education system – OpEd – Eurasia Review

Long before the special session that examined and discussed in depth education and the labor market in Russia during the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russian lawmakers on May 25 launched a Telegram survey on the future of higher education and the Bologna System in Russia.

Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel calling for a new system of higher education in the country based on contemporary and Soviet best practices. “We would be right to create an effective national higher education system based on current and Soviet practices,” Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel. “The existing higher education system needs to change, according to 90% of respondents,” Volodin reported, saying more than 413,000 people were surveyed.

The Duma spokesman said this and other issues will be discussed in a parliamentary session on June 27, with Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov, as well as representatives of the country’s universities and education experts expected.

At the Saint Petersburg forum, its traditional face-to-face format for the first time in two years after the coronavirus pandemic, during a special discussion entitled “How to provide the Russian economy with qualified personnel?” and looked at the issue of the ‘skills sink’ – the mismatch between the qualifications and skills of employees and the needs of employers is getting worse every year. At the same time, according to the Ministry of Education, today more than 60% of schoolchildren choose vocational secondary education. Isn’t that enough? And what measures should be taken by the state and companies to solve the current problem?

There were more questions about aspects of education. How can employers be encouraged to engage in active and meaningful cooperation with educational organisations? How can companies contribute to a better quality of staff training? How can we increase employer satisfaction with the level of vocational training at the secondary level? How to create the conditions conducive to the mastery of fundamentally new skills and professional competences? How do you reduce the time needed to adapt new personnel to production and increase the efficiency of the process?

Some experts have argued that the integration of creative industries into the educational process is becoming an important trend and a necessity of the 21st century. Thus, getting involved in the education and training of future professionals should be seen as an integral part of any sector of the economy, from the nuclear industry to agriculture and construction.

Deputy General Director of the Roscongress Foundation and Director of the Roscongress Foundation’s social platform – the Innosocium Foundation, Yelena Marinina explained during the session of the St. Petersburg forum that the future and trajectory of its development depend on values, knowledge and aspirations of today’s young people.

There are new opportunities and new horizons opening up in all fields are in great demand. It is imperative to effectively use the potential of graduates to accelerate economic growth. This explains the need to understand the relationship between employers and employees and to stimulate cooperation, especially in a rapidly changing world, between business and educational institutions, Marinina asserted in her presentation.

Speaking at the SPIEF plenary session, Russian President Vladimir Putin urges representatives of big business to tie their family’s future to Russia. “Recent events have only confirmed what I was saying earlier: it’s safer at home. Those who did not want to hear this obvious message lost hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars in the West. This is how the so-called safe haven for capital turned out,” the Russian leader stressed.

“Today, I would also like to address our leaders, the big bosses, our great entrepreneurs and managers. Dear colleagues, friends, real and lasting success, a sense of dignity and self-respect only come when you connect your future, the future of your children to your homeland,” Putin reiterated.

Putin carefully noted that he had been in contact with many CEOs and business owners for a long time and knew their feelings. It is, indeed, important to understand that doing business is much more than making a profit. It is about changing the life around, contributing to the development of one’s hometown, one’s region, one’s country as a whole is an extremely important thing for self-realization. Nothing can replace service to people and society. This is the meaning of life, the true meaning of work.

During several occasions of award ceremonies for talented young entrepreneurs in the Kremlin, Putin long ago supported the implementation of the strategic socio-economic initiative called Professionalism. The initiative aims at a complex reset of the entire vocational secondary education system.

The main task is to ensure the training of specialists in professions that are really in demand in a shorter time. This will offer the possibility of building a new sectoral model of staff training, synchronized with the demands of the labor market. It will help to regulate the employment of graduates and, therefore, give new impetus to the development of regional economies.

As of September 1, 2022, 150,000 students will be involved in training in educational production centers. The main focus is on key professions and specializations in areas such as metallurgy, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and transport. The new approach that is at the heart of the project will solve the problem of targeted training for priority sectors of the economy under import substitution conditions.

New documents were signed by Alexander Stuglev, Chairman and CEO of the Roscongress Foundation, Elena Chernova, First Vice-Rector of St. Petersburg State University, Ivan Lobanov, Rector of the Russian University of Economics Plekhanov, and Marina Buntova, CEO of TALENTI. These documents stipulate to join forces in the implementation of the state policy aimed at improving the socio-economic sector, creating conditions intended to help students and young professionals to orient themselves professionally and succeed in employment.

As part of this agreement, the Roscongress Foundation will be involved in the creation of a database of the main beneficiaries of the projects, the organization of courses and events organized within the framework of these joint projects. In addition, the agreements provide for cooperation between the parties for the joint realization of internships, theoretical courses and training seminars for young people, in particular by using the digital platform “Country’s Potential”.

According to information from the organizers’ website, around 2,700 business representatives from 90 countries were expected – well below the 13,500 participants from 140 countries in previous years. Some business leaders were afraid to participate in the forum because of the sanctions against Russia. Under the chosen theme “New Opportunities in a New World” which reflects the changing world situations, the conference runs from June 15 to 18 and it is the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) since its inception.


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