Alabuga Skills 2024: open format for the first time

More than 350 representatives of working professions from four regions of the country gathered in Tatarstan for the skills contest

Alabuga Skills 2024: open format for the first time
Photo: Dinar Fatykhov/

Five days. Five sites. Twenty-four competencies. More than 350 specialists from 114 enterprises of Tatarstan, Samara Oblast, Ulyanovsk Oblast, and Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. Everyone is already a winner who has become the best in professional skills competitions at their enterprises. But now they have to prove to themselves and their fellow competitors from other companies and industries the right to leadership. The journalist of Realnoe Vremya watched how the competitions went.

May the strongest win!

On February 5, on the day of the start of the competition, the participants of the 4th Alabuga Skills 2024 competition were greeted by the head of Yelabuga municipal district, Rustem Nuriev:

“I wish the contestants to demonstrate all their best professional qualities. May the strongest in their profession win!”

Rustem Nuriev: “May the strongest in their profession win!” provided by administration of Yelabuga municipal district for

Alabuga Skills is a relatively new competition. In the first year, it gathered about 40 professionals from the Yelabuga district alone. In 2022, with the support of the rais of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Tatarstan Oleg Korobchenko, the competition was raised to the republican level. Then the competitions were held in 20 competencies, and it was only about young specialists. In 2023, the organisers made several more changes: enterprises got the opportunity to nominate not one representative in each competence, as before, but two representatives, and most importantly, age restrictions were lifted. After all, the main purpose of the competition is the exchange of experience and best practices. In this matter, not only young people have a lot to learn from colleagues with serious experience, but also yesterday's graduates of universities and colleges have something to share with their senior fellows.

Roman Islanov: “This year, there are grand openings at Alabuga Skills every day.” Dinar Fatykhov/

There are also some innovations in 2024: the competition has become open and the first delegates from other regions of the country are representatives of working professions from the Ulyanovsk Oblast, Samara Oblast, and Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. Besides, the list of disciplines has been extended — now there are 24 of them. The number of venues hosting competitions has also increased to five from last year's four. Another new introduction is that the official openings of the competitions took place every day.

“The number of participants in the competition has grown so much that the hall of Sozvezdie cultural development center is simply not capable to accommodate everyone. But we can't leave our guests without the ceremonial part, and therefore we found a solution: we distributed the teams by day, and every day of the competition begins with the official opening," Roman Islanov, the deputy head of the Yelabuga municipal district, told the journalist of Realnoe Vremya.

Third approach of TAIF-NK

The team of TAIF-NK JSC took part in Alabuga Skills for the first time in 2022. Then the honour of the oil refining company was defended by seven specialists. This time, Anton Tukhvatullin, the head of the technical training group of TAIF-NK JSC, who heads the team, brought 18 people to the competition.

Anton Tukhvatullin: “This time we have 17 people participating in nine competencies.” Dinar Fatykhov/

“This year, 17 our people are participating in nine competencies. They all are active employees who perform similar work tasks daily in the course of their activities. The equipment at our enterprises is also at a very high level — it is not inferior, and in some cases, even surpasses what is presented here. This is not the first time that some of our team members have participated in the competition. What does it give? The specialist hones his experience and skills, and in addition, competitiveness improves his qualifications," Anton Tukhvatullin noted in an interview with Realnoe Vremya.

In non stop mode

The Yelabuga Polytechnic College looks more like a beehive even on ordinary days — it is one of the main forges of workers not only for the district, but also for many enterprises of the republic. But in the days of Alabuga Skills, emotions reache fever pitch.

During the days of Alabuga Skills, the site of Yelabuga Polytechnic College buzzes like a beehive. Dinar Fatykhov/

Last year, the senior master of the college, Svetlana Borisova, barely found a couple of minutes to talk to journalists. This time, she answered on the go at all:

“We are glad to welcome the participants of the competition again. Yes, there are even more participants. Experts are also from all over Tatarstan: our teachers, from Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk, Leninogorsk… Anyway, you will see everything for yourself. Just don't distract the participants, please," she asked.

Svetlana Borisova: “There are even more participants in the competition this year.” Dinar Fatykhov/

Representatives of 14 competencies competed in mastery at two college venues. As soon as one of them vacated the workplace, the following contestants took over. And so from early morning until late evening.

Welder Bulat Nasibullin, at the age of 27, can be said to be already a veteran of Alabuga Skills. He came to the competition for the third time. Two years ago, he became the winner in his nomination. This time he was unlucky: the competition turned out to be tougher, and I burned out a little:

“The most difficult part is to wait. There is anxiety. I would like to weld it quickly," he shared his feelings with the journalist.

During the five days at the welding posts, some participants replaced others. Dinar Fatykhov/

Welding posts on the competition site did not know rest all the days of the competition: six equipped places for the most massive competence were clearly not enough. While the contestants were waiting in line in a specially designated room, those who were already working on control samples were worried about another reason: 3 hours, it turns out, is too short a period of time and it passes very quickly.

Ilshat Zainakov: “It is 100% impossible to complete the tasks we have prepared.” Dinar Fatykhov/

“Our competitive tasks have remained the same in terms of volume. We have made 30% of the changes to the tasks that were completed last year. And, as in previous times, it is impossible to complete these tasks at 100%. The main task is to meet the deadline and collect the maximum number of samples for evaluation. By the way, we were able to get closer to the highest score last year: out of 200 points, we scored a maximum of 189," said Ilshat Zainakov, an expert of the discipline.

Main task for the contestants is to collect a maximum of control samples in the allotted time. Dinar Fatykhov/

Ramil Bigiev currently works at one of the production facilities of Alabuga special economic zone. Today he is an expert, but in the first and second Alabuga Skills, he stood at the milling machine. He was able to become the third in the first competition and took silver a year later. Then he served in the army and returned to the profession. When they offered to join the team from the organisers of the competition, I didn't think for a minute — I immediately said yes. His site is universal milling machines.

Some of the participants of the very first Alabuga Skills contests are experts themselves today. Dinar Fatykhov/

“Only when the countdown starts, our contestants receive a drawing, and they will need to make a part. Everyone has the same task. And the time is the same: 2 hours. Later, after completion, we will take measurements, the quality of manufacture. Actually, the detail has no practical application. The main task is to show your level: how they can catch the size, the workmanship, the speed, the use of various tools.”

For Evgeny Ulanov, for his 34 years of experience, this is the first professional competition. Dinar Fatykhov/

Evgeny Ulanov is a machine operator with 34 years of experience. However, I did not start with a milling cutter. As a child, I read a book about turners and decided for myself: “Here it is — a dream job.” He returned to the machine after the army. He worked at Nizhnekamskneftekhim, later moved to TAIF-NK, mastered the milling cutter. It was the first time he participated in professional skills competitions. He says it became interesting to try his hand and look at others. But when asked what is the most difficult thing in the work, he answered unexpectedly:

“The most difficult thing is to teach others. It's not just necessary to be able to work on the machine himself, but you also need to be able to transfer this knowledge.”

Alexey Belyaev: “In production, we often sharpen steel, not aluminum.” Dinar Fatykhov/

Alexey Belyaev, a turner, was barely caught by the journalist of Realnoe Vremya after the control time. Focused and serious at the machine, he did not feel quite comfortable in front of the camera. As for participating in the competition, it is not his first one. Even when he worked for Nizhnekamskneftekhim, he took part in competitions that gathered even more participants. As for the difficulties of the task, the material with which I had to work turned out to be not the most familiar:

“We rarely work with aluminum. We mainly sharpen steel. But it's not that it is a big difficulty: a lot depends on the turner here — how experienced he is. It is difficult to work with aluminum for an unexperienced. Everything comes with experience. Two hours, however, is not enough. Not everything he completed successfully. I didn't have time. But I think I won the third place at least.”

Not every young universal turner will cope withh aluminum. Dinar Fatykhov/

As it turned out later, Yevgeny made a little mistake: he was literally a little short of bronze, and as a result, he took fourth place. The third was another representative of the TAIF-NK JSC team — universal turner Alexander Osipov. Two more team members won silver: welder Rustem Khosnullin and electrician Ayrat Khusnutdinov.

No reason to be upset

Three prizes are a worthy result, the company is confident. It's a good reason to push a little harder to prepare, perhaps, to slightly change the rules of the internal competitions of professional skills and give other specialists of a team of thousands a chance to prove themselves. As it has already been this year to the laboratory assistant Aisylu Gazizova.

Aisylu Gazizova came out of maternity leave in October and is already participating in the second professional skills competition. Dinar Fatykhov/

The young mother's maternity just ended in October last year, she was already able to prove at the city competition that she had not lost her knowledge and skills, and she became the only laboratory assistant and the only representative of the beautiful half of the team in the company's team. I didn't reach the prizes a little bit, but I didn't slide down the tournament ladder either. There is a reason (and professional excitement) to come here in 2025.

Ad of TAIF-NK JSC. Dinar Fatykhov/

The other contestants also have a fighting spirit. It is also doubly interesting to find out what innovations one should expect from the organisers of Alabuga Skills. All the participants are already used to that the competition is growing, developing, becoming richer, more complex, and therefore more interesting and prestigious.

Arseny Favstritsky

Подписывайтесь на телеграм-канал, группу «ВКонтакте» и страницу в «Одноклассниках» «Реального времени». Ежедневные видео на Rutube, «Дзене» и Youtube.