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Vice Premier of Yakutia, A.Dyachkovsky, remarks, «The vocational training system must be perfected to promote the interests of large enterprises»

Nearly two-thirds of Yakutia budget revenues consists of taxes from the largest industrial enterprises. The regional authorities intend to build the training system so that major companies will be interested in hiring local staff. In an interview with Interfax, Vice Premier of Yakutia, Alexey Dyachkovsky, talked about how the companies themselves concern to this, and what type of work is being done in this direction.

— Alex Prokopevich, in October, it was reported that Yakutia is among the 21 pilot regions for testing the regional standard of industrial staffing growth. Can you explain what that means, and what actions will be taken?

- This refers to a specific action plan that will make the vocational training system meet the on-the-ground requirements of large industrial enterprises operating in the country. In Yakutia, a certain imbalance is presently being witnessed between the labor market and the geographical distribution of labor resources. Our goal is to eliminate this imbalance. The fact is that Yakutia is one of the leading areas in the Far East in terms of demographic growth. Nothing wrong with this, of course. Nevertheless, certain problems arise in terms of the imbalance of the labor market and the geographical structure of labor resources. While the main production facilities are concentrated in the southern and western regions, tension in the availability of jobs does exist in the countryside.

In many regions of Russia, places of residence, education and work occupy relatively small areas. In fact, the common story is for a person to grow up, get educated, and find employment in the same area. On the other hand, our story is a bit different. A person living in one place may be studying in another and working in another. And all these places are separated by hundreds of kilometers. This involves additional costs. If a person travels somewhere for training, he/she should be provided with accommodation and funds necessary to facilitate his/her travel and relocation. This is a serious challenge for Yakutia that has to be solved. Presently, our task is to ensure the growth of industrial production by utilizing the local human resources.

- Are large industrial enterprises interested in hiring local workers?

- Let’s face it, many companies are reluctant to employ the locals. The reasons may be different. Some companies prefer recruiting workers on a rotational basis, and some believe that local workers are not skilled enough. In light of this quagmire, Head of Yakutia, Yegor Borisov, set before us the task of improving the vocational education to be adjusted for the interests of large enterprises.

Certain agreements have already been reached. Despite the general economic difficulties, we are allocating funds for the maintenance of the labor mobility of citizens, paying for training programmes, and housing. We intend to actively collaborate with the largest enterprises, providing them with qualified, specialized staff, while simultaneously reducing unemployment in the region. Of course, this problem cannot be solved without the support of the large enterprises themselves, and we need their input in moving forward.

- What companies have you already made agreements with on training and employment?

- In the west, we have clinched a deal with ALROSA. This company has long been working effectively in this direction. While employing a local workforce, it also supports vocational training institutions in Mirny. In the south, we are pinning great hopes on Kolmar. With such companies as Kolmar, we develop a special format of interaction. We train their professional staff in accordance with their requirements, and they assist future employees to undergo practical, on-the-job, training.

In developing projects in South Yakutia, Kolmar plays a crucial role. The Company plans to soon increase production, meaning it will become one of the key drivers for job creation through the construction and commissioning of new facilities. In the coming year, the number of workers employed by the Company will increase to 1,500 individuals, and by 2025, up to 3,500 people.

Of course, we are primarily interested in assisting and encouraging the Company employ mostly local staff. And for this to happen, we have to ensure that the available hopefuls are properly and adequately trained. We are very pleased that the Kolmar leadership is willing to establish and maintain mutual cooperation.

— And how is work with the other companies?

- The challenge we are facing with oil and gas producing companies is that they have their own training centers, which are located outside the region. This means that their training facilities are located separate from the place of future work. Therefore, these companies are more interested in employing staff working in shifts. The shift method complicates our forecast in human resource management.

As relates to the establishment of new production facilities, only Kolmar and ALROSA are willing to participate. Others largely prefer the shift method. In this regard, however, we are also willing to adapt our training process according to their requirements.

- What should be the training process for technical specialists?

- The training system must be adapted to meet the requirements of industry. Specialists should be trained in the areas they will subsequently be working. This is called duality in training. That is, the student must not only sit on the desk and acquire theoretical knowledge, but also «work in the field» by engaging in practical training at industrial facilities.

However, there are certain nuances in labor legislation. For example, a student is not allowed to work with dangerous objects, such as electrical transmission lines, without appropriate permission and work experience. These issues should be taken into account.

- Who will be involved in setting the regional staffing standard for industrial growth?

- At present, there is the State Committee on Employment. Yegor Borisov tasked this committee to provide active staffing and employment for our citizens. We cannot allow the massive influx of foreign workers or workers from other regions of Russia. Moreover, as I said, due to population growth, unemployment is above average for Russia.

We currently have two main objectives: staffing industrial enterprises and facilitating youth employment. Both these problems need to be addressed comprehensively.

The main work will begin in 2017. We plan to create a roadmap, which shall take into account the interest of large enterprises, educational institutions and staffing.