Elmira Zaripova: 'A large residential complex was built in Tsarevo, but people go to work in Kazan'

The number of unemployed citizens of Tatarstan has been reduced threefold, but the problems of personnel shortage remain, the minister of labour of the republic reported

Elmira Zaripova: 'A large residential complex was built in Tsarevo, but people go to work in Kazan'
Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

Unemployment in Tatarstan has returned to the pre-crisis level: the number of unemployed citizens has decreased threefold: from 80,000 to 25,000 people. But the number of vacancies is still almost twice as high. This was stated at the online conference of Realnoe Vremya newspaper by Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Protection of the Republic of Tatarstan Elmira Zaripova. If in the Pestrechinsky district, in connection with the construction of housing settlements, there is a shortage of production facilities and vacancies, as a result of which residents are forced to go to work in Kazan, then on the other side of the republic, in the Kama agglomeration, there has been a personnel shortage for several years. Read in our article how the ministry of labour of the Republic of Tatarstan solved and is going to solve problems with layoffs at Sollers and Tatneft, and what specialties are the most popular in Tatarstan today.

Unemployment rate returns to its pre-crisis level

Today, more than 2 million people work in Tatarstan, of which 1,9 million are employed in the economy and work officially. But the labour market last year experienced the most difficult time in the entire history of observations, said Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Protection of Tatarstan Elmira Zaripova, answering questions from the online conference of Realnoe Vremya. According to her, unemployment in 2020 was highest.

“Up to 80,000 people were registered in the employment centres. But we increased the amount of unemployment benefits — we paid more than 12,000 rubles to each unemployed person in 2020. In 2021, the economy began to recover, someone retrained during the pandemic, people sometimes go to new jobs. Someone — to remote work. The unemployment rate in our country has eventually returned to the pre-crisis level — today only 25,000 people are registered in the employment centres," said Elmira Zaripova.

15,800 people have been employed. The largest number of unemployed are registered in Kazan (12,058 people), Naberezhnye Chelny (2,440 people), Almetyevsk (1,471 people) and Nizhnekamsk district (1,992 people). At the same time, the need for personnel today is almost twice as high — 48,600 vacancies. Today, the specialists of the ministry of labour of the Republic of Tatarstan take into account the needs of both small and medium-sized businesses. First of all, the district authorities are interested in this — so that people are employed at local industrial sites. Zaripova believes that migration can help to cover such needs. But the local authorities must also solve the problem.

“In the Pestrechinsky district, in Tsarevo, a large [residential] complex was built, but the people who live there go to work in Kazan, creating a load on traffic," the minister gave an example with regret.

The unemployment rate in our country has eventually returned to the pre-crisis level — today only 25,000 people are registered in the employment centres.

The source of the forecasts of the ministry of labour and employment centres is the enterprises themselves, with whom the team of Elmira Zaripova works closely, especially with the flagships of the market. They also take into account investment projects in order to know what the need for personnel at certain sites is going to be in a few years. Separately, the minister focused on the issue of modernisation of production facilities, as a result of which people can lose their jobs. Studying the plans of employers, the ministry of labour correlates the forecasts and opportunities of universities and colleges, providing them with information about the needs of the market: how many employees and what specialties they need to train in the near future.

Problem of personnel shortage in Kama agglomeration

There is another reserve: people in the free labour market, unemployed or job-seeking specialists of the ministry of labour of the Republic of Tatarstan and employment centres can retrain and cover personnel needs. Despite this, there are certain “distortions” in the market of the republic, Elmira Zaripova admitted:

“There are always territorial structural issues. There is a high demand for personnel, for example, in the Kama agglomeration, we have been experiencing a shortage of labour in recent years — in Naberezhnye Chelny, Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk. We are working closely with the local authorities. Today, Alabuga is developing not just separate projects, but also projects that connect businesses and educational organisations with each other. And KAMAZ even has its own training centre.

To provide Tatarstan enterprises with workforce, the authorities often have to solve the housing issue: to ensure the necessary labour migration, it is necessary that a person from another region can come to Tatarstan and get a job (the problem of shortage of personnel in medical institutions is solved by offering apartments to doctors from other regions). But there are not many such vacancies and opportunities: today, there are about 1,7 million vacancies available on the portal 'Work in Russia' alone. Only 244,000 of them offer housing. In Tatarstan, the portal offered 46,600 vacant places, of which only 4,900 vacant places are with the provision of housing, beds in a hall of residence.

There are always territorial structural issues. There is a high demand for personnel, for example, in the Kama agglomeration, we have been experiencing a shortage of labour in recent years — in Naberezhnye Chelny, Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk.

Top most popular professions

According to the minister, the most popular today are skilled workers, in particular, in construction, which is on the rise after the difficult 2020 year. Today, there are 16,000 such vacancies from construction companies in the Tatarstan labour market today.

“Fitters, concrete workers, turners, painters, gas welders are always in demand. They are followed by operators, specialists of the highest level of qualification. And, finally, the service sector — also up to 3,000 offers: catering, hotels, and so on, the sphere of which has been affected by the pandemic. In the top — drivers, 1,400 vacancies," said Elmira Zaripova.

Out of 48,600 vacancies presented, 12,600 are in the construction sector, 7,900 — manufacturing, 5,300 — in state administration and military security, and 5,300 — in social services. The most popular in the field of mechanical engineering: engineers of various specialisations, supervisors, painters, transport workers, repairmen, turners, stampers, electric and gas welders.

One hundred and eleven thousand citizens of the republic have already posted their CVs on the portal 'Work in Russia' — given that only 25,000 are officially registered in the employment centres, it is obvious that more than 80,00 employed Tatarstan citizens are also in search of an interesting job (and a higher salary). On the same portal, most of the vacancies are posted by representatives of trade, administrative workers, but there are also CVs from people employed in the field of production, transport. About 5,000 CVs — in the field of healthcare.

Fitters, concrete workers, turners, painters, gas welders are always in demand. They are followed by operators, specialists of the highest level of qualification. Finally, the service sector — also up to 3,000 offers: catering, hotels, and so on.

Employment centres are holding job fairs even in Zoom

The state today supports the restoration of employment — including through subsidies to those companies that suit an unemployed citizen — in a month giving the company a subsidy in the amount of the minimum wage. Many employers are already counting on such support, the minister said. The second project is professional training.

“Traditionally, women with young children, people of pre-retirement age and people with disabilities experience problems in the labour market. On average, they look for work for up to four months, and people with disabilities even longer. The state tries to support them by offering a training programme, after which the employee is guaranteed a job. In general, medium-sized companies participate in such programmes in Tatarstan, said Elmira Zaripova.

According to her, not only usual labour fairs are gaining popularity, but also... remote, online, which the ministry of labour of the Republic of Tatarstan holds in Zoom. The top positions are mainly affected at Zoom fairs, for people from other regions who want to move to Tatarstan. The authorities of the republic are actively working with social networks, with target groups — Kazan mothers, parents of children with disabilities, and so on. The ministry of labour of the Republic of Tatarstan places vacancies that will definitely be in demand among this audience.

Traditionally, women with young children, people of pre-retirement age and people with disabilities experience problems in the labour market. On average, they look for work for up to four months, and people with disabilities even longer.

Where have the dismissed employees of Sollers and Tatneft find employment?

It is more difficult to employ the dismissed employees of enterprises. Such situations periodically arise in Tatarstan, when they carry out modernisation, companies report this to the employment centres. The ministry of labour organises field employment centres at such enterprises, thinking about how to employ employees after dismissal.

“It is safer for a citizen to know that he or she will not be in the status of unemployed for a very long time. When there was mass layoffs in Naberezhnye Chelny at Sollers, 629 employees out of 816 people did not reach the employment centres, they were redistributed immediately. Sixty per cent of Sollers' employees were employed! It was the same at Tatneft, in connection with the liquidation of the Almetyevsk workshop, TAGRAS-Holding was ready to employ more than 80 employees at once.

As for TagraS-Holding Group, layoffs are expected at Tatburneft-LUTR PLC in connection with the liquidation of the above-mentioned workshop. The expected layoff is 81 people. Another example: out of 369 employees of Kamgeszyab company — 315 employees of the company were employed thanks to a proactive set of measures of the authorities.

Even in the context of the pandemic, when a citizen became unemployed, only those who had been officially employed for at least 26 months could claim the maximum unemployment benefits. State and social support is aimed at those who are officially employed.

Fight against “gray” labour market will be strengthened

The main goal of the ministry of labour for 2021 is to restore employment. The economy is growing after the “downtime” of 2020, and now it is important not only to maintain employment, but also to increase it. The second important task is the fight against the “gray labour market”. The working relationship should be formalised, the minister is sure. For the sake of ensuring not only the payment of pensions in the future, but also for the sake of respecting the rights of the employee in the “present”.

“This is not even a question of a future pension, but a question of life situations that may await you in the near future, including unpaid vacations or accidents at work. Even in the context of the pandemic, when a citizen became unemployed, only those who had been officially employed for at least 26 months could claim the maximum unemployment benefits. State and social support is aimed at those who are officially employed," explained Zaripova, whose team now supports the self-employed who bring a certificate of income (issued by the tax authorities), that is, confirming their “legal status”.

The official status also helps in resolving conflicts with employers, the minister believes. In particular, reporting a reduction in salary or the threat of dismissal to the labour inspectorate or to the court. Trade unions, too, are still not outdated, Zaripova is sure, they exist in enterprises, “they always stand on the side of employees, they are the institutions that pre-trially help citizens to protect their rights”. But, as a rule, trade unions work in large and medium-sized enterprises, in small businesses they actually do not exist.

It is also necessary to formalise labour relations for employees working remotely — this has become especially important during the pandemic. After remote employment increased, there appeared the issues of labour protection, safety, and labour rationing in the workplace. In the Labour Code of Russia, forms of compensation for traffic for the Internet and communication services at a remote workplace have appeared.

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By Sergey Afanasyev. Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov