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Experts advise that training to work in Arctic should begin in kindergarten

March 21, 9:18 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
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ST. PETERSBURG, March 21. /TASS/. Professional training for work in the Arctic should begin from early childhood, and grown-ups should have opportunities for additional training, experts said at the conference "Arctic: Human Resources Potential and Deficit", organized during the St. Petersburg international labor forum.

"The project's main objective is to research skills of children of low-numbered indigenous peoples and to prepare methods for their education," Anna Polezhayeva of the Federal Agency for Nationalities Affairs said while presenting a project for kindergartens in the Arctic zone.

The pre-school education includes teaching children national crafts and native languages for the purpose of keeping culture of the indigenous peoples and learning the national languages would be necessary for socialization. She invited scientists to join the research, results of which will be presented to the Arctic Council. Head of the Talents and Success Foundation Tatyana Shmeleva spoke about the valuable human capital - the gifted children. In her opinion, promotion of scientific research, which plays important role in development of the Arctic and the entire country, should begin at school already.

Demand for human resources

Head of the Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University Elena Kudryashova named a few directions to be used for training of specialists working and living in that zone. "Training of low-numbered indigenous peoples is correct, it continues beginning from kindergartens," she said. "At 700 schools there 36,000 pupils study, and 16,000 learn native languages of the low-numbered peoples."

Some regions use boarding schools, nomadic schools, Arctic kindergartens, nomads camp schools, she continued, stressing special demand for specialized professional education. According to the data the expert quoted, the demand is for 24,000 people, only 11,000 are receiving education. The expert said it is rather complicated to receive objective data on demand for human resources both from regional authorities and from companies, which complicates work on long-term forecasts.

The Arkhangelsk region's Minister of Education and Science Igor Skubenko said the spheres for graduates in the Arctic are growing. For example, the region, due to development of diamond deposits, now requires special training programs for that sector. Another promising sector is production of lead-zinc concentrate. Of high demand are also specialists, who will be involved in construction of the Belkomur railway, he added.

Sergei Aplonov of the St. Petersburg University says all Arctic projects are so complicated and the price of possible mistakes in the fragile environment is so high, that all the projects should undergo scientific research before they are implemented. He offered three basic approaches to training of scientific specialists for the Arctic: education via practice of the Arctic research, multi-subject training due to complex problems in the region, and a combination of traditions and innovations. "Nor can we ignore the human aspirations for learning the unknown," as we know only little about the Arctic, he added.

Development of human capital

Deputy Head of the council for human resources studies at the Ministry of Economic Development Valery Chichkanov stressed the main condition for development of the Arctic is development of the human capital, protectionism and big financing. This comes from the strategy for development of the territory, which term is longer than the strategy for the country's development has. "It is not the Arctic that has chances for development of the Arctic, but Russia has the chance to be developing together with the Arctic," he said. For a huge region like the Arctic, the development strategy for 4-6 years means "tomorrow", and tasks should be outlined for 10-20 years forward, he said.

The expert regretted the mass media write little about the Arctic and its development, and said that during the conference he received an invitation from head of the Association of North-West's Media Ivan Bentsa to join the expert council of the newly organized Association of the Arctic Media.

In a keynote address to the conference participants, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, head of the respective commission, said further development of the Arctic requires not only technology solutions, but also potential of professionals. Among priority directions, he named development of education, training, and additional education for work in the Arctic conditions, namely, in the marine geology, production and processing of hydrocarbons, marine biotechnologies, information technologies, and others.

The deputy prime minister said, while in 2016 the demand for specialists with higher education is 6,200 people, the forecast for 2021 is 8,300 people. The highest demand comes from mining, shipbuilding, ship repairing and healthcare.

All these suggestions will be on agenda of the upcoming Arctic forum due in Arkhangelsk on March 29-30.

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