How Russia Is Tackling The Issue Of Skills Of The Future

“Business is waiting for business to settle into familiar patterns. However, business hasn’t resumed a familiar pattern and employers waiting for it do so may wait in vain” 2013 Talent shortage Survey Research Results, Manpower Group

The Russian Government has put together a multi-institutional team to further the aim of collaboration around skills development issues. Members of the team include the Agency of Strategic Initiatives, the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management and the Russian World Skills team. The Agency of Strategic Initiatives is a National development institution created by the President of Russia in 2011 to improve the quality of the business environment in Russia (incl. regulation, standards, skill base and more). The ‘Young professionals’ division of the agency focuses on improving both professional and higher education.

The objective of this Multi-institutional team is to:

  • Increase productivity and competitiveness of the Russian workforce through promotion of world-class standards in professional education
  • Create new jobs, primarily through work with new and emerging industries
  • Improve the quality of the educational system by supportive systemic and disruptive educational innovations

To achieve the above objectives they established a number of projects, one of which is the Skills Foresight 2030. Using a type of strategic planning methodology called “Foresight” they attempted to determine what the future could look like from a skills perspective over a 20-30 year period. This methodology uses our natural ability to think ahead and consider, model, create and respond to, future eventualities and then to make sense of data to think about the future.

Using this methodology the team looked at 25 industries with either emerging industry or export potential and/ or infrastructure development/ support capacity. Major players in these industries were bought together in a series of workshops. These workshops also included leading skills anticipation and high-level national technology foresight experts from Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Romania, Russia and Switzerland. During these workshops the teams tried to determine the global and technology changes affecting industries and to predict the jobs and competencies that would be relevant in these industries.

The figure above summarises some of the key outcomes from these sessions. There are number of areas that will have substantial impact on the skills needed in the future, including technological and social change, an education system that hadn’t kept up with the international best practices, a need to develop new industries and growing global pressures on industries

During the workshops participants looked at the trends as described above and then translated this to specific jobs and then to competencies within those jobs. For example, in the future a welder would need new skills to weld materials other than metals, including plastics and compound materials and would also therefore need the ability to learn new techniques as one of their competencies.  Additionally, the participants also looked at what jobs would be affected by changes in technology and processes, becoming obsolete because of these changes.  

Following from the workshops the results were collated into a document called the Atlas of Future Jobs.  This document details the following:

  • The 25 sectors covered, from mining and transportation to social spheres such as art and media, providing information about the sector and depicting a worker in each sector in the future
  • 200 new or changing jobs within these AND NEW sectors, starting from energy auditor and neurointerface developer to cyber-prosthetist and living systems designer
  • The expected competencies required for each job
  • Jobs that are expected to become obsolete, across blue and white collar jobs, with reasons, during the same period due to changes in technology and or processes
  • A list of prospective employers in the identified sectors
  • A list of places where students could study for these professions.

The production of this Atlas resulted in the identification of a number of new industries and jobs assisting with achievement of the objective of creation of new jobs

Example of job from Atlas
Once skills and competencies were identified the Ministry of Education was able to utilise this information in the development of educational curricula across all levels of the education system and to use this document to drive young people to choose to study for careers that they would not otherwise have thought about to achieve the 2nd objective of improving the quality of the educational system

In order to deliver on the 3rd objective of creating increased productivity and competitiveness of the Russian workforce through promotion of world-class standards in professional education, the Russian Government is currently using the World Skills completion to drive an improvement in quality standards, and has set ambitious targets for TVETs to train at Worlds skills Competition levels.

B Bulunga
Executive Director: Adcorp, and
Chair: Brics Skills Development Working Group within the Brics Business Council


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