Cadres are key: main topic of board meeting of Ministry of Industry and Trade — vocational training

Kazanorgsintez has presented its achievements in training and attracting specialists

For the first time in the history of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Tatarstan, its final board meeting has been held not in Kazan. Alabuga SEZ became the place where the key production and financial and economic results of the republic's enterprises were announced. However, they more talked not about successes, but about what needs to be done to achieve much more: the development of industry clusters and, especially, the personnel potential of the region. Business representatives also brought their own developments. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Industrial complex of Tatarstan lacks 27,7k workers

The problem of shortage of specialists in the republic has been raised not for the first time. But it was at the state level, with the participation of the president, that a large-scale discussion took place in mid-December last year. Then a regular meeting of the Tatarstan Security Council was devoted to the issue. It was there that the figures describing the scale of the problem were voiced: 27,7 thousand people are not enough for the industrial complex of Tatarstan right now. And this figure continues to grow.

Moreover, there are not enough not just workers, but specialists who have received secondary or higher professional education and are ready, and most importantly, able to cope with modern high-precision equipment that have undergone deep modernisation and continue to actively develop enterprises of oil, oil refining, petrochemical, machine, aircraft and helicopter building complexes, companies that build houses and ships, create household appliances ... A shortage of qualified personnel is observed in almost any industry.

The reasons that led to the situation, which KAMAZ CEO Sergey Kogogin briefly and succinctly described as a “personnel collapse”, are called demographic failure, the outflow of migrants, the flow of labour into areas with higher salaries, inflation. But at the root of everything, there is an even deeper problem. It was voiced by the president of the republic:

“There are serious contradictions between the demands of young people and what they can offer in terms of professional competencies," he made it clear the essence of the personnel problem. “According to the assessment of industrial enterprises, half of the graduates of the vocational school receive an extremely low level of qualification and are absolutely not ready to work in production," added Rustam Minnikhanov.

The urgent needs of enterprises absolutely do not overlap with the existing potential of the unemployed population. All this seriously hinders the creation of new and the development of existing production facilities.

The topic of labour shortage was again raised at the collegium. According to Minister of Industry and Trade of Tatarstan Albert Karimov, the economy of the republic, as well as Russia as a whole, is shifting the focus from the development of individual enterprises to building, as it was called in Soviet times, “territorial production complexes”, or, to use the current lexicon, “clusters”. There are four main ones in the republic: oil production and refining (with the core — Tatneft), chemistry (with two centres — Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Kazanorgsintez), automotive (KAMAZ) and aircraft (KAPO and Russian Helicopters). There are also eight developing clusters. And in each of them, there is a shortage of qualified employees.

Even during the meeting of the Security Council, the president of Tatarstan ordered to prepare a special republican programme for staffing industrial enterprises of the Republic of Tatarstan. At the board meeting, Rustam Minnikhanov instructed to accelerate work in this direction.

There is a struggle for talents going

This was stated in his speech by Mikhail Karisalov, a member of the management board of SIBUR Holding PJSC, chairman of the board of directors of Nizhnekamskneftekhim:

“The success of any production, regardless of its scale, is based on people. In general, the task is to build an organisation that would be the best employer, most attractive. But we understand that only a quantitative approach cannot solve this issue. Today there are technical possibilities for high automation of production processes. Inevitably, not quantitative, but qualitative indicators of training specialists come to the fore. There is a struggle for talents going," he noted.

Many of the Tatarstan companies are ready to confirm the validity of this statement. It happens that a highly qualified specialist breaks up with an enterprise to which he has given more than a dozen years, and goes to competitors, because they pay more there. And it also happens that a person just happened to be out of place: he graduated, got a profession, came to the factory and realised that it was not his. Not least because they did not teach what was needed at a particular enterprise. The latter problem can be solved only in close cooperation of industries — as customers, and educational institutions — as executors of the order for training specialists.

At the exhibition that preceded the board meeting, the largest companies of the republic and leading universities and vocational schools of Tatarstan presented their expositions. Kazanorgsintez was ready to talk about production achievements and what is being done to ensure that these achievements have someone to support and develop.

“We don't have a special shortage of personnel," the company's CEO Farid Minigulov shared with the journalist of Realnoe Vremya and added: “We are one of the best employers in Kazan. Those who can and want to work come to us. Including for a good salary.

In close cooperation

Moreover, people come to Kazanorgsintez already knowing exactly where and why they want to get a job. The secret lies in long-standing and close cooperation with the leading higher and vocational educational institutions of the republic.

“These are the Kazan Petrochemical College named after V.P. Lushnikov, KNRTU, KFU, Power Engineering University, Institute of Economics, Management and Law, as well as other universities," Farid Minigulov listed.

In particular, power engineering specialists are trained by the Kazan State Power Engineering University. And for the CCGT under construction, too.

“There is an order for the training of specialists for the new energy capacities being created. If an enterprise needs a specialist of some sector-specific profile, for some specific equipment — we have targeted training. The company itself is involved in changing the training programme for future specialists, whether it is a bachelor's or a master's degree," explained Igor Ivshin, the vice-rector for science and commercialisation of the Kazan State Power Engineering University.

The Kazan National Research Technological University also trains specialists for Kazanorgsintez to order.

“We try to be as close as possible to the production workers. Practical training is organised for students from the first courses so that students study real production, not limited to lectures. This is a very important aspect: even in the process of training, a person gets acquainted with a specific enterprise, after receiving a diploma, he is ready to be involved in the production process quickly enough," said Alexander Kopylov, the vice-rector for research and innovation at the KNRTU. He also added that, in addition, there is a practice of attracting existing employees of the enterprise as teaching staff, as well as representatives of the industry are invited to state examination commissions. Including as chairmen of such commissions. “They evaluate our bachelors and masters precisely as future employees of their enterprises.”

In 2021 alone, more than 700 students of specialized Kazan universities and colleges completed practical training at the production facilities of Kazanorgsintez. The company has more than 100 different professional development programmes.

“This is a continuous process for us. There are a lot of all kinds, covering almost the entire spectrum of necessary additional training courses of varying intensity and a wide range of areas: safety, training in narrow specialties, nature protection, labour protection," explained the director general of Kazanorgsintez.

Learning from experience

Many innovations come to Tatarstan petrochemical enterprises after the merger of TAIF and SIBUR businesses. Including in matters of training professional personnel.

“SIBUR's internal rotation is very well developed. We are already involved in these processes, and this immersion will become even deeper. This includes the exchange of specialists, engineering personnel, and in other areas. SIBUR has a lot of various internal training and retraining programmes. Where necessary, specialised organisations are attracted for training. Where there are enough of their own resources, they actively act on their own. In general, the system of personnel training, the system of reserving personnel, the system of advanced training in SIBUR, I think, is at a very good level. And from the point of view of such an exchange of experience, I think we were lucky," Farid Minigulov shared his plans for the foreseeable future.

Kazanorgsintez is also ready to share with their best practices in the issues of training and retraining of personnel. With SIBUR, and with other companies. And in confirmation of this — the exposition prepared for the board of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. By the way, it aroused serious interest among representatives of Tatarstan businesses who attended to the meeting.

Arseny Favstritsky