Andrei Komarov, the owner of the Chelyabinsk Pipe Rolling Plant, believes that the shortage of workers is a problem that has been relevant for Russian industry for more than 20 years. The situation exacerbates itself – at first the working professions lost prestige, then the state and the management of educational institutions began to take frivolous attitude to “unprestigious” types of education, which led to an even greater loss of prestige … And so on in a circle. As a result, it was precisely the difficulties with the training of personnel that have become one of the main factors that reduce the competitiveness of Russian industry on the world market.
Until now, many officials in Russian cities believe that the best way to modernize the local vocational school is to rename it to a college and redirect it to the training of managers and cosmetologists. Secondary schools also try to “keep pace with the times”, completely abolishing, sabotaging or unrecognizably modifying the lessons of drafting and labor.
As a result, at the Chelyabinsk Tube-Rolling Plant in recent years we have already faced not even a deficit, but with a complete lack of necessary personnel. We need an employee to work with certain equipment – but no one responds to a vacancy, because people who are familiar with such equipment are simply not in the region. At the same time mistakes of the illiterate personnel in our sphere are very expensive.
Investigating this problem, I visited many educational institutions and realized that we can not treat them as a source of cadres. There obsolete equipment is being studied, and teachers know less about metallurgy than our average worker.
Then we studied international experience and decided to take the situation into our own hands. Together with the authorities of the Sverdlovsk region, we began to create our own educational center on the basis of the Pervouralsk metallurgical college. However, by the time we began to cooperate, the college had already been fully “modified” – there were trained hairdressers, lawyers, car repair workers, but not metallurgists. The teaching staff was not ready to work on new principles, and as a result we decided not to manage the college, but only to maintain partnership with it.
And for training metallurgists in accordance with modern schemes, we built our own training center on the territory of Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant, following the example of existing ones at German enterprises. It cost us $ 30 million. The training center teaches both the staff of the Pervouralsk College and our specialists. 60 percent of the learning time is given to practice. Its students are not only in ChTPZ, but also at the enterprises of our partners – Gazprom, Transneft, Rosneft and others. The best graduates we guarantee employment at the enterprises of ChTPZ.
Independently training for ourselves workers, we can not only guarantee high quality of personnel, but also plan ahead – how many specialists of which professions should be trained by a certain date.
The problem for us was service in the army. By law, a student who has not reached the age of 27 years, after receiving a diploma must go to the service for a year. For this year it’s easy to forget everything that you were taught. However, we managed to agree with the Ministry of Defense that the graduates of our training center would serve in our sponsored military unit near Pervouralsk.
I believe that owners of other large industrial enterprises should follow our example. No one will grow cadres for the industry better than the industrialists themselves. We have already submitted our program to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and were highly appreciated. I think that the state should support enterprises that create training centers, giving them a tax deduction. In fact now taxes are directed on salaries to officials who should support system of average special education. If the responsibility for education is shifted to commercial companies, it means that they can keep some of the taxes themselves.
And the fact that education should be dealt with by businessmen, I am convinced. No official will understand the global and current needs of industrial enterprises as well as the people who manage these enterprises for many years. Moreover, the state system is inert, it is afraid of change, tries to formalize and preserve the educational process. And business is forced to constantly keep up with science, the market and social changes. It is necessary that future employees of enterprises from the first course get used to movement and development, and not to inertia and formalization.