Dmitry Konov: ‘I root for the most professional ones who will be an example for others’

Nizhnekamskneftekhim has become a partner of the industry’s WorldSkills championship PetroChemSkills-2021

Over 70 competitors and experts from different parts of Russia arrived in Nizhnekamsk to the 2nd PetroChemSkills-2021 open industry championship held by WorldSkills standards. SIBUR organised the event, Nizhnekamskneftekhim became a partner in two skills. It is noteworthy that Nizhnekamsk is the starting point of the competition, it will end in Saint Petersburg on 1 October. High-ranking guests arrived to welcome the competitors — Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov as well TAIF and SIBUR top managers. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

Nizhnekamsk takes the baton

The industry’s championship by WorldSkills standards SIBUR PetroСhemSkills first took place in Sochi in 2019. 35 competitors and 35 experts participated in it then. A total of three skills and six enterprises were represented.

Two years later, the PetroСhemSkills industry championship gathered competitors again. The competition is on a new scale: 13 skills, nine companies, two educational establishments. More than 300 competitors, experts and guests are going to visit the venues. The championship will cover five cities, including Tyumen, Tobolsk, Tomsk and Saint Petersburg.

Nizhnekamsk — a city with a rich history of the gas and petrochemical sector — took the baton first. One of the largest European enterprises — Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, the country’s famous factory of highly professional staff — is located here.

“Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Nizhnekamsk have always been the centre of Russia’s petrochemistry. This site wasn’t chosen first accidentally. The skills of our employees, our specialists have always been praised. I always tell our partners that a former worker of our company works almost in every Russian petrochemical enterprise. They are assessed, invited to work to bring new knowledge and experience to these companies,” Director General of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC Ayrat Safin noted in an interview with Realnoe Vremya’s correspondent.

PetroChemSkills-2021 industry championship is taking place in Nizhnekamsk at the N. Lemayev Petrochemistry and Oil Refining College. Besides the employees of SIBUR and Nizhnekamskneftekhim, competitors are representing such companies as Kazanorgsintez, Gazprom Neft, TANECO, EuroChem. Also, representatives of business and related educational establishments were guests of the competition.

“This year, the Nizhnekamsk college has become one of the competition venues, which stresses our and our partners’ interest in the development and popularisation of skilled jobs in Tatarstan. Precisely engineers, technicians, today’s operators, laboratory assistants, welders will shape the landscape of the sector. Requirements for competencies of employees of modern, digital factories are transforming today, this is why it is so important to exchange practices at such championships,” Rustam Galiakhmetov, SIBUR’s managing director, emphasised.

“Everything is achieved through experience and exercise”

Among the competencies in Nizhnekamsk, 13 enterprises are competing in the first one Chemical Laboratory Analysis, 14 are in the second Operator of Chemical Technologies. The best workers are representing Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Anton Aldaryov is one of them. The young man has been working in the company for seven years, he chose his future profession in year nine.

“I am a polymerisation operator. I like the job very much. I aim at professional development. This year, I have graduated from a university. Now I am an acting shift foreman. I work in Butyl Rubber Plant. Everything is fine, alright,” Anton Aldaryov, a team member in Operator of Chemical Technologies competence, shared his impressions.

“The strongest operators have gathered here. Everybody is ready. And everybody wants to win a medal, I think representing Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC we won’t fall behind, will be in the top 3,” he said proudly.

Four workers and four experts in total are representing Nizhnekamskneftekhim at the championship. Maria Ilyina is a teacher of Rasilya Kadyrova who will fight for a victory in Chemical Laboratory Analysis.

“I hope it will work. The competitors are really strong. This is why the fight will be tough. The preparation lasted for the whole summer and without holiday, we can say. We tried hard. We trained everything we could, all possible methods. Now everything runs on these three competition days,” said the championship’s expert and teacher Maria Ilyina.

Student of the N. Lemayev Petrochemistry and Oil Refining College Viktoria Buzynina is competing in such a big championship for the first time. The girl said that she hardly slept in the last two weeks, she had been preparing for the competition.

“I started to worry since the moment I was told. I prepared day and night. It is a big experience for me,” Viktoria admitted.

By the way, most graduates of N. Lemayev Petrochemistry and Oil Refining College where Viktoria studies are would-be workers of Nizhnekamskneftekhim. A special staff policy was designed in the enterprise. Personal attraction and retention is a whole system that starts to work as early as at school: 15 in 33 of Nizhnekamsk schools are sponsored by Nizhnekamskneftekhim.

In the 2020-2021 academic year, these links reached a new level. In October 2020, there were signed agreements with directors of sponsored schools that expressed mutual interest in career guidance.

This year, Nizhnekamskneftekhim has opened specialised Neftekhim Classes in two sponsored educational establishments at once. School No. 36 and Lyceum No. 37 have become a kind of test site. From year nine, students of specialised classes will attend extracurricular lessons on subjects related to the activity of Nizhnekamskneftekhim.

The students will be offered career guidance, organised excursions, master classes, meetings with parents, Olympiads. After graduation from the school, they will have an option of entering the N. Lemayev Petrochemistry and Oil Refining College or continue studying years 10 and 11 and then enter Nizhnekamsk Chemical Technological Institute or Kazan National Technological Research University.

“Graduates of the N. Lemayev Petrochemistry and Oil Refining College are future workers of our enterprise, enterprises of our friends and colleagues from SIBUR, TANECO and other enterprises of the petrochemical sector. We hope for a clean uncompromising fight and believe that certainly the strongest will win,” noted Rodion Bulashov, vice director general of HR and social affairs at Nizhnekamskneftekhim. He also noted that at this championship Nizhnekamskneftekhim workers have a good chance of being among leaders.

“As the saying puts it, ‘Everything is achieved through experience and exercise.’ We do training constantly working, dynamically. We have a very good group of experts who are represented at this college and in other locations: at SIBUR PetroChemicalSkills, in Yekaterinburg, and our experts enjoy both trust and respect on other sites too. It is a well-known fact. Our lads won medals at the last world championship, which was in our Tatarstan land, in Kazan, as well as the last SIBUR PetroChemicalSkills in Sirius in Sochi,” he said with pride.

The goal of the championship is to raise the prestige of skilled workers and engineer jobs

Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, Board Chairman of SIBUR Holding PJSC Dmitry Konov, Director General of TAIF JSC Ruslan Shigabutdinov, Director General of the Agency for Professional Mastery Development (WorldSkills Russia) ANO Robert Urazov, Mayor of Nizhnekamsk Aydar Metshin attended the solemn opening ceremony of the championship. A polyglot robot welcomed the honourable guests.

“Hello, Mr Minnikhanov, or as we usually say in Tatar, welcome, dear guests!”

“I see your pronunciation isn’t Tatar at all!” the president joked.

Later, Rustam Minnikhanov together with the SIBUR and TAIF top managers looked over the competition venue, talked with competitors.

“The idea of holding the championship came to our mind in 2019. Then we held the first industry championship. The number of competitors was much smaller,” said Rustam Galiakhmetov, SIBUR’s managing director.

“Did you compete in Bashkiria?” the president clarified.

“The competition in Bashkiria was only for colleges, students participated. While here workers of enterprises are competing,” Galiakhmetov explained.

“It is a good idea. We also need it (Editor’s note: Tatneft), so SIBUR hosts competitions,” Minnikhanov noted.

“We tried to make something in oil production. LUKOIL arrived, Rosneft refused,” Nail Maganov, director general of Tatneft PJSC, hurried to justify himself.

“It is necessary to push this good idea, initiate at any cost. Do we know anybody at Gazprom Neft? We should ask them,” Minnikhanov insisted.

Board Chairman of SIBUR Holding PJSC Dmitry Konov explained that the goal of the championship was to raise the prestige of skilled and engineer jobs, exchange the best practices.

“When we talk about petrochemistry, we see that the level of competencies, knowledge and requirements increases for every our worker in the sector, regardless of his workplace. The equipment they work with, the technologies they use require constant training. We are for quality staff and compete with other industries.

“I root for the most professional ones who will be an example for others. And it doesn’t matter where he works and where he comes from. What he knows to do, knows it better than others matters, and this experience can be passed to those who compete in the championship and his colleagues,” Konov noted.

Director General of TAIF JSC Ruslan Shigabutdinov said that the future united company that will become one of the biggest in the petrochemical market will require specialists with a first-class education, and such championships help to find the best.

“TAIF and SIBUR have know-how both in personnel services and human resources. Our common task is to make sure the people working in serious petrochemical companies, TAIF or SIBUR, feel comfortable, confident, they are confident about tomorrow, they totally understand the competency so that they won’t doubt that in these companies they can grow professionally and achieve the most serious and ambitious goals,” Shigabutdinov stressed.

In his opinion, the path to success is via constant training and self-education.

“Today we see that equipment and technologies become more complex. Simple mathematical methods aren’t enough. It is necessary to study. A lot of attention should be paid to self-education. Such competitions allow one to show off, be assessed by somebody else, not only by his manager but also by a jury. One’s real level can be seen in honest, proper and active work. Those who aren’t good enough should work harder, while those who reached the summit should occupy the podium and become a living example that can be followed,” Shigabutdinov believes.

Then Future Worker’s Profile. How Requirements for Staff in Industrial Companies Change panel discussion took place.

The championship in Nizhnekamsk will end on 10 September. Three winners will be chosen for every skill. Workers of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC will participate in another six competencies: Welding Technologies, Non-Destructive Testing, Electrical Installation, Budgeting, Environmental Protection and Equipment Repair, which will take place in other venues.

As Director General of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC Ayrat Safin noted, it doesn’t matter who will win the championship. Most importantly, every competitor will gain new experience and improve their prowess, which, without doubt, will influence their performance.

“We participated just half an hour ago and saw the competition. Specialists, students of the Lemayev college are also competing, and we already know that they will be provided with a job in the future. They will work in Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s water treatment plant. We try immediately — in learning, during these competitions — to make sure these competencies and their best representatives join our enterprise. The goal is to set the pace, set the level of knowledge in enterprises because these people will share their competencies. The bar that will have to be crossed and move higher will be set. The next competition is raising the bar again. So the knowledge, their level will increase in the enterprise gradually,” Ayrat Safin concluded.

Liliya Yegorova. Photo: Albert Muklokov
Sports Tatarstan