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New Urban Environments as a Catalyst for Investment
25 May 2018
Russia is currently lagging behind leading countries in the development of human capital

According to World Bank estimates, human capital accounts for up to 80% of the wealth of economically developed countries, and 30–40% of the population of these countries fall into this so-called knowledge category. The knowledge category consists of highly qualified workers in the intellectual labour market. In Russia today, this figure is a mere 17% — Vladislav Butenko, Senior Partner of The Boston Consulting Group.

The demand for knowledge is a key factor in the success of education

Knowledge must be in demand. <...> While investment in education can result in economic growth, it can also result in worsening economic growth — Vladimir Mau, Rector, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

Even though money is important, it’s not the most important thing. <...> People care about doing something meaningful. You want to do something that means something for yourself — Dirk Ahlborn, Chief Executive Officer, of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

The concept of the profession is being replaced with that of skills

Working professions have no future. We must understand that the concept of the profession disappeared quite a long time ago, and there is no need to speak of any logic – specifically of the profession – in this regard. <...> Essentially, workplace requirements vary greatly from company to company. The current situation is being shaped by skills — Robert Urazov, General Director, WorldSkills Russia, Agency for the Development of Professional Communities and Skilled Workers.

So far, we have lived in a world characterized by duality. In terms of skills, we have always talked about so-called hard and soft skills. We take hard skills to mean specific abilities in a profession <...> soft skills encompass self-management, staff management, and the ability to work in a team. <...> Digital skills are now supplementing these — Valery Katkalo, Rector, Sberbank Corporate University.

Competition for talented staff is intensifying

We are assessing our staffing requirements, and over a three-year horizon, we can already see a deficit. That is even disregarding the fact that there is not only competition between traditional players, but global ones too, given that the talent market is global — Mikhail Dubin, chairman of the board of directors of the Centre for Advanced Technology Development (CGTP).

One of the challenges is people. Population density in the Russian Far East is one eighth of that in the central part of the country. <...> The question of attracting, retaining, and securing staff is becoming critical — Valentin Timakov, Director General, Agency for the Development of Human Capital in the Far Eastern Federal District.

In the competition for talent, we are unfortunately losing out to large companies. The Leaders of Russia competition saw 100 winners. Of these, 21 came from major corporations, while only 10 came from government bodies. <...>We began by implementing administrative reforms and developing a floating strategy. A selection of projects is outlined under the strategy. And we have selected the most talented and promising people for these projects. What’s more, we have already sent these people to be trained at Skolkovo — Dmitry Yalov, Deputy Chairman of the Government of Leningrad region.

A change in approaches to education

Unfortunately, in Russia our views on high-quality education is firmly rooted in educational certificates. It is very harmful to crudely separate high-quality from low-quality in this way. <...> We need to focus less on educational qualifications and more on competency. We need to be able to measure competencies and cement them — Robert Urazov, General Director, WorldSkills Russia, Agency for the Development of Professional Communities and Skilled Workers.

We are witnessing a clear and rapid paradigm shift from in terms of the advantage offered by modern educational establishments. The view still prevails that a good educational establishment is one, which boasts an excellent range of courses which it ably administers. However, we are now seeing the focus shift from administrating a range of courses to administering the educational experience of students — Valery Katkalo, Rector, Sberbank Corporate University.

A great many people are attracted to digitalizing content: coding, hardware... We have concluded that this is a very insignificant part. The main aspect is transforming an organization’s approaches to work, to staff appraisal, to training — Mikhail Karisalov, Chairman of the Management Board, SIBUR.

An analysis of the future demand for staff

We need to think about and assess the demand that exists, and that which may arise. It is the case that there is a high level of competitiveness on the market. It is not currently an employers’ market, but an employees’ market. <...> We must take steps in advance to examine and contemplate the fact that in 6–12 months, we may need a particular set of teams — Mikhail Dubin, chairman of the board of directors of the Centre for Advanced Technology Development (CGTP).

Close ties between education and business

All companies at the top of their sector have corporate universities. Our panel of speakers provide confirmation of this fact. Corporate universities don’t only help their companies become leaders in the industries in which they operate, but also have a positive effect on the economies of the cities where they are based — Tatyana Dyakonova, Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

The creation of training programmes

We have developed a programme which is built upon the life cycle of an export project. Essentially, we have taken the logic behind the implementation of an export transaction, split it into specific modules, and have assigned a separate course for each one. In this way, a company undergoing the programme can structure an export transaction from scratch — Alicia Nikitina, General Director, Export School of the Russian Export Centre.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS