The Edge of Opportunity: career prospects in the Far East

Usually Russians who have reached a professional impasse and are thinking about moving to another region, first of all consider Moscow and St. Petersburg. However, today it makes sense to pay attention not only to West, but also to the East of our country, where programs of accelerated territory development are actively implemented, which means that every year here there are more and more prospects for work and career growth.

Photo: Embankment of the Amur river in Khabarovsk. Vitaly Ankov/RIA Novosti

There is a job for everyone

Now, due to the departure of Western companies from the market, many Russians have difficulty with their jobs and are looking for new employment opportunities including thinking about moving to other regions. Let’s take a closer look at the Far East of the country, where the unemployment rate is minimal and varies depending on the particular region, but in general is still lower than the average for Russia. Remarkably, during 2022, situation hardly changed here, and in some places unemployment even decreased. Analysts attribute this to the fact that Far Eastern enterprises traditionally focus more on partners from Southeast Asia than on Western suppliers. As a consequence, the departure of Western business affected the West and center of Russia more than the East.

Unemployment in large cities of the Far East, according to Rosstat for October 2022, is less than 1%. At the same time, 70% of vacancies are in Vladivostok, Ussuriysk and Nakhodka. The total number of vacancies is also significant and exceeds the number of applicants. Only on the platform “Work of Russia” more than 60,000 jobs are offered in a wide variety of areas, and there is one job solicitor per 10 vacancies.

Salaries are not lagging behind either. In the ranking of regions by the number of inhabitants with monthly earnings of more than 100,000 rubles some regions of the Far East was even ahead of the capital. Such or higher amount is received by about 50% of employees in Chukotka and 33.6% of employees in the Magadan region.

It is noteworthy that in the top 10 of the all-Russian rating of salaries 8 places out of 10 are occupied by the regions of the Far East: Chukotka and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous districts, Magadan Region, Nenets Autonomous district, Kamchatka Territory, Sakhalin Region, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District – Yugra and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The two remaining places, 5th and 10th, respectively, are occupied by Moscow and the Murmansk region.

But, of course, the amount of wages is also associated with harsh climatic conditions, and with distance from the center, so moving to the Far East is a serious solution that requires certain costs. That’s why here various specialist support programs are in place to help overcome these difficulties and develop a successful career.

Labour Mobility Programme

Since 2015, a program to increase labor mobility in the Far East has been in operation. It was launched to compensate for the lack of qualified employees: in the eastern regions of the country population density is very low, but at the same time there are a number of important strategic enterprises. Now these businesses, by applying for the program, can attract staff from other regions of the country. Those who decide to relocate, receive comprehensive support from the employer compensated by the state.

Thus, employees are provided with official housing for the whole family, paid moving and transporting baggage, one-time lifting grant is issued for arrangement in a new place. Advanced training at the expense of the employer is also provided, as well as (in some enterprises) compensation of expenses for nutrition. Together with wages, regional coefficients and surcharges are charged. In general, the compensation that the employer receives from state for attracting each employee amount to 1 million rubles – this money is spent on housing, lifting and other bonuses. Within the program an employee enters into an agreement, which can be urgent (at least two years), as well as indefinite. Conditions are minimal: the age of the applicant should not be more than 50 years, and he must have a specialized education, corresponding to vacancies. In addition, for a number of specialties there are health requirements.

The labor mobility program has been successfully operating for the eighth year. During these years, more than 60,000 people moved to the Far East within its framework. More than 80% of program participants remain in the Far East, and 20% only return to their regions.

Labour mobility programme for young people

In 2022, the Ministry of Labor launched a similar program for young people, facilitating the movement of young specialists to the Far East. It is designed for applicants no older than 35 years from regions with overabundance of labor in the labor market. To participate in the program, you have to find a vacancy (independently or using employment centers), contact the employer from the region participating in the program, and conclude a contract.

After moving, the young specialist refers to the local employment center with contract and submits an application for payment amounting to 116,000 rubles. These funds will cover housing rental and associated initial expenses.

Far Eastern hectare

Careers in the Far East can be built not only on existing enterprises. Another option is to open your own business. For this aim, the Far Eastern Hectare program was launched. It gives to any citizen of Russia the opportunity to get 1 hectare for his use for free, moreover, such an area is granted not for a family, but for a person. If the family, for example, has three people, including infants, then it can receive three hectares, and so on (but no more than 10 hectares in total). Of course, if so much land is not required, you can take smaller area.

It is important to keep in mind that the land plot should be situated at least more than 20 km far from major cities, and at least 10 km far from cities with a population of more than 50,000. That is, this land will have to be developed almost from scratch. But everyone decides for himself how to use it: you can create farmland and cultivate crops or livestock, housing or industrial enterprise can be built, or you can design a tourist site.

Land taken under the program goes into ownership after five years if the user provided that he uses it for the purpose specified in the application. That is, if you took a hectare for development, you need to follow this plan to become a full owner. By the way, the majority – i.e. 42% participants – takes land for exactly that purpose. 35% of participants develop agricultural projects, 10% are engaged in entrepreneurship and 7% rely on tourist sites.

Of course, these are not all opportunities for building a career in the Far East. Now “Days of the regions of the Far East in Moscow – 2022” are held in the capital,  with lots of business and cultural events designed to introduce residents of the central part of our country with development opportunities in the Far East. Details and the program of events can be found on the official website of the project.

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