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Human capital in the Arctic: what incentives Russian regions expect

Authorities of the Arctic regions, which the agency will assist in getting qualified specialists, told TASS about a lack of various specialists

ST. PETERSBURG, March 2. /TASS/. The Human Capital Development Agency (HCDA) in late 2019 was authorized to provide skilled personnel to the Arctic’s regions. TASS writes about the situation with human resources in the Arctic and what incentives the regions expect.

"The agency will analyze what resources investment projects in the Arctic need, it will offer specialists. A separate direction would be to support activities of the North’s indigenous peoples. Jointly with local authorities, the agency will see how to preserve and develop cooperation between the indigenous peoples and local businesses. The agency will also participate in educational projects, and will suggest how to adjust programs to train specialists for the Arctic," the agency told TASS.

Thousands of qualified specialists are of demand in the Arctic

Authorities of the Arctic regions, which the agency will assist in getting qualified specialists, told TASS about a lack of various specialists.

According to Boris Petrov of the Murmansk State Technical University "every year the region needs 25,000 college and university graduates. In near future, the highest demand will be for qualified workers and mid-level managers in construction, <…> mining, oil and gas, fuel, shipbuilding, transport and healthcare spheres."

Karelia’s Arctic regions want to see more "social" employees: teachers, doctors, paramedics, librarians, as well as firefighters and car mechanics, the region’s employment authority told TASS.

The Krasnoyarsk Region invites specialists for major investment projects, like Nornickel, Severnaya Zvezda, Neftegazholding, Taimyrneftegaz. "Employers want to have high-skilled specialists, who are prepared to work in complicated climate conditions," the region’s human resources agency told TASS.

Needed coordination

Universities in the Arctic regions hope the agency could coordinate new educational programs to make training programs more efficient and integral.

"We need a coordinator to set stable ties. We have been working under agreements between businesses and universities," Anatoly Sleptsov of the North-Eastern Federal University (Yakutsk) said. "My opinion is that we need a system, which would also plan funding for the training process."

According to him, companies often ask universities to train one to three specialists, while at least 15 students should make a Master Course group. "The agency could make an application based on the number of required specialists, and we could focus on development of the region and companies, which work mainly in the Arctic," he said.

Dariana Maximova of the same university stressed - if work of Yakutia’s university and companies is coordinated, the human capital in the region could satisfy the demand for specialists.

New Bachelor and Master courses on sustainable development of the Arctic’s, North’s and Siberia’s low-numbered indigenous peoples would be an important task in training specialists, press service of the Herzen Pedagogical University (St. Petersburg) told TASS.

Motivating specialists to stay in the Arctic

The Arctic regions’ representatives share the opinion the current labor incentives are not sufficient. The regions hope the agency could offer support measures, which could motivate specialists to stay in the Arctic, motivate companies to expand businesses, and motivate the indigenous peoples to develop traditional crafts.

"One of the aspects we should face in the Nenets Autonomous Region is to offer jobs to local people at developing fields. Take for example an oil producing company, which has many contractors, where at a time could work about 250-300 people, while only four of them are locals," a regional legislator Matvey Chuprov told TASS. "If the agency sees to it the locals receive jobs in the Arctic zone, its mission would be fulfilled."

At the same time, incentives should not become a burden for businesses, Chukotka’s official Liliya Shadrina said. For example, on Chukotka, a businessman has to pay the highest regional rate and the northern bonus, thus cutting own business development opportunities. It would be necessary to offer a federal-level mechanism to compensate businesses for the expenses, incurred in the Arctic regions.

Another objective is to support entrepreneurs representing the North’s indigenous peoples, who work in traditional sectors, the legislator continued.

"Traditional crafts for the North’s low-numbered indigenous peoples is sewing traditional clothes and footwear of fur, first of all deer fur, <…> while now nobody makes them in the Nenets Region, like it used to be in the past," he said. "A possible federal support could be if small and medium businesses were put on the list of social companies in case they are involved in traditional crafts."

The Russian Arctic

Russia’s Arctic regions are: the Murmansk, Nenets and Chukotka regions, and partially the Krasnoyarsk, Arkhangelsk, Karelia and Yakutia regions.