Quotas, grants and engineering “special forces”: that will help defeat the shortage of personnel

Almost 80% of Russian companies have difficulty finding and Hiring their staff. More often, the problem is recorded in high-tech industries: according to the Ministry of Digital Industry of the Russian Federation, almost 1 million additional specialists are required in IT industry, the same number of developers and drone operators will be needed by 2030. However, in general, there shortage does not depend on the industry – the economy lacks specialists of different professions, from builders and nurses to educators and radio technicians. Business efforts solve the problem only pointwise. Key activity by training of in-demand specialists, including support measures and stimulus, belongs today to the state.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with leaders of advanced engineering schools and their industrial partners – project participants of “Advanced Engineering Schools.” Gavriil Grigorov / POOL

“Budget” rate

Increasing budget places in universities allows faster and more efficient preparation of scarce personnel. This happens also as part of the implementation of federal projects.

“Many products and technologies are being replenished by parallel import, but this is a temporary and unreliable measure. It is more important to develop own competencies. It requires skilled manpower resources and base knowledge accumulation. I see several formats that can effectively solve these problems. For example, federal project “Personnel for the digital economy.” This project increases seriously every year the number of budget places in digital areas,” – Pavel Teplov, Director of Innovation at Mercator Holding, notes.

The focus on training is done by universities, more than 800 have the appropriate specialized programs.

“In Russia, we have almost doubled the benchmarks for admission to universities at budget places in specialties in the field of IT, ” – Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin noted.

In 2022, more than 117 thousand students were approved for budget places in IT specialties, by 2024 the number of students will be at least 500 thousand.

The approach is not only used to train IT professionals. On direction “Health care and medical sciences” budget places for 2023-2024 academic year increased by 9.7 thousand, in the direction of “Education and pedagogical sciences ” the increase was 9.2 thousand in comparison with the 2020-2021 academic year. The number is growing also in the areas of “Construction Technology and Technology,” “Electrical and Thermal Power Engineering,” and “Technologies of Ground Transport.”

By target quota

The practice of the target training allows increasing the number of demanded graduates. According to the quota in universities and colleges, you can enter at the expense of the budget, then you will have to work out a certain period in the ordering organization.

According to the target quotas, you can understand in “real time” which staff is really in deficit. So, in 2023, the target will be most budget places for medical specialties, in many cases their number reaches 100% (for example, for areas such as pediatric cardiology, oncology, neurosurgery, etc.).

Vladimir Pesnya / RIA Novosti

Quotas have also been increased in the engineering direction, this will allow the production of more specialists in the field of aircraft and helicopter engineering, railways operation, and train traffic systems. Share of target budget places in such specialties will be 70%. For specialties “Construction of railways, bridges and transport tunnels,” “Design of aircraft and rocket engines,” “Radioelectronic systems and complexes,” “Special radio engineering systems” quotas make up 60% of places.

Support to regions

The problem of personnel is more often faced by companies in regions where there is a shortage formed due to the outflow of students to the capital. Priority 2030 program, implemented by the country’s government helps fixing the situation. Today it covers 129 universities that should become leaders in the creation of new scientific knowledge, technologies and developments, as well as establish cooperation with business. To finance the transformation program universities in 2023 will receive more than 32 billion rubles, which are distributed on a grant basis.

Students will also be able to create and test breakthrough engineering developments in the regions thanks to the development of innovative scientific and technological centers (ISTC), there are already 10 of them throughout the country.

“These are growth points looking to combine scientific potential of universities, business interests and strategic objectives of the state. The task of the ISTC is with the support of the state and on the basis of scientific developments to create real products, growing a personnel environment, integrating its developments in the real sector of the economy,” Pavel Teplov says.

Looking for personnel at college

The number of middle-level specialists is increasing due to a reduction in Preparation time. The approach is being introduced, for example, for the specialty “Nursing.” After the 11th grade of the school, the profession can be obtained now in a year and 10 months.

“Business offers solutions to staffing shortages by raising attractiveness of working conditions. In the public sector, such solutions are not applied, so a faster qualifications obtaining process is needed. So, in medical colleges from 2022, an accelerated preparation program is being implemented. Such experience should be expanded,” Tatiana Burtseva, professor at the Department of Statistics and Mathematical Methods at MIREA, notes.

Colleges are also increasing the number of places to study. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin emphasized the importance of this direction within the framework of the message to the Federal Assembly. The total number of students for the year has already grown by 6.7%, amounting to more than 3.5 million people. In the next five years, colleges and technical schools will train about a million specialists in mechanical engineering, robotics, agriculture, construction, and transport.

The reboot of the secondary vocational education system takes place within the framework of the federal project “Professionalism.” From 2022, 150 thousand students study in participating colleges, in 2023 it is planned to bring the number of students up to 350 thousand.

“We will develop this direction actively, especially since interest in the project among schoolchildren is only growing,” the Minister of Education of Russia Sergey Kravtsov notes.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Russian Minister of Education Sergei Kravtsov (right to left) during a visit to Energia College in Reutov. Dmitry Astakhov / RIA Novosti

Digital landing

Training in digital competencies remains under a special control. So, today it can be mastered in universities even by students whose future profession is not related to IT. This task is fulfilled by the project “Digital Departments” (launched within the framework of the program of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia “Priority-2030” together with Ministry of Digital Science). 490 programs are already being implemented at digital departments, by 2030 more than 900 thousand people will be trained.

Educational institutions are also actively building a dialogue with IT business. For universities today it is an opportunity to adapt programs for real market needs, and the trend is noticeable not only in the regions. For example, National Research University “Higher School of Economics” collaborates with IT business as part of the training of bachelors in the direction of “Business-informatics”.

“Students go through the entire cycle of implementing an IT project, from collecting requirements and business case assessments prior to design, development and approval of the result before the customer. This helps the future specialists to understand quickly the specifics of work, while companies find talented colleagues,” Maxim Ozerov, project director for analytics at Navicon, says.

Engineering focus

Projects aimed at the deep transformation of the training system itself help providing the economy with engineering personnel. One from the most powerful ones is the federal project of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia “Advanced engineering schools,” aimed at rebuilding the engineering education system. Grant support is provided for participating universities (in 2023, the volume increased to 10 billion rubles), and training takes place with a close interaction with high-tech companies.

“In 15 regions of the country, 30 advanced engineering schools have already appeared in universities. more than 2 thousand students learn according to the advanced program of engineers’ training. Business interest in the project is also extremely high,”- the press service of the MEPhI National Research Nuclear University specified (responsible for expert and analytical project support).

“The task is to prepare the engineering elite, the “engineering special forces”, which will serve the needs of high-tech and export oriented sectors of the economy,” Georgy Tikhomirov, Professor, Deputy Director of INFT at NRNU MEPhI, says.

Short education programs in partnership with businesses and public corporations implemented with the participation of public development institutions also allow to satisfy the needs for engineers, including such areas, as materials science, mechanical engineering, biotechnology, and electronics. For example, the Foundation for Infrastructure and Educational Programs helps to launch such programs on the basis of universities for training specialists in the area of creating new materials and products.

Director of the Department of Educational Programs and Professional Qualifications at Foundation for Infrastructure and Educational Programs (RUSNANO Group) Stanislav Nishimov. Evgeny Biyatov / Photo host of the Congress of Young Scientists.

“By 2023, with the assistance of FIOP on the basis of leading universities and scientific institutions we have created more than 250 programs of additional professional education. Such programs become a resource not only for enhancement of specialists’ qualifications, but also for updating the programs of the high education,” Stanislav Nisimov, Director of the Department of Educational Programs and Professional Qualifications at FIOP, says.

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