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Development of Arctic boosts demand for qualified specialists — experts

February 07, 18:34 UTC+3 MURMANSK. February 7.

The region is in demand for well-trained experienced specialists skilled to working in the North

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© Lev Fedoseev/TASS

MURMANSK. February 7. /TASS/. Development of the Arctic, as a priority direction of the Russian state polices, has increased the demand for qualified specialists in various fields. Experts say, the region is in demand for not adventurers, but for well-trained experienced specialists skilled to working in the North. Besides, of high demand are scientific suggestions on both development of the Arctic and on maintaining its natural conditions.

Analysts of the HeadHunter recruiting portal say that open positions in the Russian Arctic regions (like the Sakha Republic, Nenets, Yamal-Nenets, Chukotka) in January 2017 doubled year-on-year.

"The biggest demand was for sales positions (28% of the vacancies the regions published in January 2017), raw materials exploration and development (16%), banking (14%), blue-collar positions (13%), and personnel for production facilities (12%). Most vacancies come from companies related to production of gas, oil, minerals, to development of open pits or to industrial construction," the company said.

Most often, the companies were looking for applicants with working experience from one to three years (40%) and from three to six years (32%), while 23% of listed jobs were for applicants without experience. The average offered salary of 60,000 rubles (about $1,000 a month) goes next to 174,000 rubles for a programmer or 157,000 for a mining engineer working shifts. Candidates most often are guaranteed not only food and bed, but also laundry services, libraries and gyms.

Regions in search for ‘standard’ solutions for personnel problems

Misbalance between demand and offer in human resources in terms of territory and professional skills - this is how expert of the Presidential Academy Vera Smorchkova characterized in a conversation with TASS the biggest problem, which affects the social and economic development of the Arctic regions. She said about a lack of a balanced system for training and forecast to see what professions will be of demand on the Arctic market in five or seven years.

The projects to implement systematic approaches in personnel training for the Arctic are only at the level of tests now. For example, the Murmansk region - the only part in the North-Western Federal District - is testing a standard of human resources for industrial growth purposes. The project involves employers, universities, authorities and the WorldSkills movement.

The standard is used to forecast human resources demand and develop focused training, to organize independent evaluation of training, and the system for additional education for children. The region’s six leading companies have agreed to participate in the test: mining, shipbuilding and other companies. Across the country, the standard is tested in 21 regions.

Northern regions also do not forget about representatives of the indigenous peoples. The department of education at the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District told TASS about training of nomadic teachers for schools and kindergartens. "Today, in Yamal’s tundra work 17 ‘chum’ (dwelling of nomadic peoples) kindergartens and five schools," the department said.

Yakutia, for the purpose of supporting the locals, makes big companies working in the region employ the locals first of all, head of the region Yegor Borisov told TASS.

"Companies, working in development, do not have problems with personnel, and in work with those companies we set only one task - to employ more locals," he said. Thus, over the recent five years Alrosa (diamond producer) employed 18,000 local residents, and Surgutneftegaz (oil and gas producer) - 2,000 people.

Norilsk Nickel trains specialists for future

Companies working on Arctic projects - Norilsk Nickel, Rosneft, Gazprom and others - have been initiating educational programs. As yet, the Presidential Academy’s expert said, cooperation between educational institutions and businesses has been on first stages of development - only five percent of educational programs are implemented in cooperation with employers.

For example, Norilsk Nickel, under its corporate programs on working with students, cooperates with more than 15 Russian core universities. The company’s press service told TASS about a few working projects, including a program to develop human capital - Conquerors of the North, which in 2016 won the national competition among projects involving graduates and young specialists.

The company’s second program is the Cup MISIS Case and the Cup Technical competitions in business cases. In 2016, more than 200,000 students from 65 universities in 25 cities participated in the first championship, and more than 350,000 from 250 universities in 35 cities participated in the second competition, which was aimed at solving more scientifically-technical practical cases.

Cryo-somatic and other know-hows for Arctic

Many universities now give forecasts what professions will be of demand in the Arctic.

For example, the Tyumen Oil and Gas University in 2000 opened a department of the Earth’s cryology. Academician Vladimir Melnikov says, every year the department educates specialists in studies of natural and natural-technical processes in the Earth’s cold regions.

In 2016, the University opened the first in the world department of cryo studies, to working at which the University invited leading scientists from the U.S., Mexico, Israel, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

The North (Arctic) Federal University opened the Arctic innovation center to implement results of research made by scientists and students. The university opened 24 small innovative companies to implement scientific results. One of the companies has offered technical characteristics and technology for production of autoclaved cellular concrete, using local mineral resources.

International experience

Cooperation of universities, training specialists for work in the Arctic, with other countries in the educational and scientific spheres becomes a popular trend.

The North (Arctic) University has close relations with educational institutions in Norway, Finland, Sweden, Canada and the U.S. More than 400 students and 300 teachers every year participate in academic exchange programs, and 80% of all the students’ and 40% of the teachers’ exchanges are organized with universities in the Arctic countries.

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