Forest industry innovation cluster PomorInnovaLes, Agency for Regional Development of the Arkhangelsk Region and Northern Arctic Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov held a round table "Staffing for the forest industry enterprises".
The event was attended by Arkhangelsk PPM JSC, Titan Group of Companies, FBU SEVNIILH, State Autonomous Professional Institution Novodvinsk Industrial Technical School JSC, Ural State Forest Engineering University, Ilim Group JSC, Yakut State Agricultural Academy, Mytischi branch of Bauman Moscow State Technical University, students and teachers of NArFU and others.
Professor of the Yakut Agricultural Academy Igor Grigoryev gave statistics according to which 35% of workers in the Russian forest industry are people over 50 years or of retirement age. The annual need for specialists is from 3 to 15 thousand persons, and the need for targeted retraining of personnel is more than 7 thousand persons per year.
Maxim Bykovsky, dean of the Faculty of Forestry, Forest Technologies and Landscaping of the Mytischi branch of Bauman Moscow State Technical University, confirmed that today the forest industry is provided with professional standards by 15%, which complicates the work of both medium and small enterprises. Due to the lack of a number of professional standards, employers are dissatisfied with the quality of training of specialists in educational organizations, which should not lag behind the innovative development of forestry enterprises.
Business representatives also joined the discussion of the problem. For example, Olga Savvina, the administrative director of Arkhangelsk PPM JSC, outlined in her speech the company’s growing need for specialists, because the constant increase in production volumes requires updating of the staff. Top requested are line managers, site foreman, process engineer, mechanics, service mechanics. At the same time, she noted that educational programs do not always have time to adapt to new achievements and innovations of industrial enterprises, there is a gap between theory and actual reality.
The participants of the round table also discussed the problem of the low popularity of the forest professions: the competition for forestry disciplines is small, the passing grades are low, which leads to a significant percentage of students’ expulsion.
This problem can be solved by conducting systematic, continuous student selected caeer placement. This is exactly the model chosen by Titan Group of Companies, and it is being successfully implemented. According to Anna Trofimova, head of the personnel management department of the holding, two years ago the company launched the project “Titan_Children: Leaders of Future Changes” for schoolchildren. Its goal is to popularize the professions of the timber industry complex, to give senior schoolchildren an insight into the prospects of building personal professional plans in the Titan Group of Companies, and to provide the company with young specialists in the future.
The second project “Titan: Territory of Growth” works for students and is aimed at creating a succession pipeline for the companies of the holding through work in projects, organization of internships and summer practical trainings, master classes and workshops, conclusions of contracts for employer-sponsored education and paying scholarships to the best students.
Deputy director of the forestry cluster, Evgeny Mikhailovsky, proposed creating a forest educational portal that will bring together all interested parties, allow for training cooperation, and create an independent exchange of educational programs that can be chosen by the employer. In his turn, the employer can post his information on the portal, this can be, for example, vacancies and demand forecasts.
The idea of creating the portal was supported by Natalya Pinyagina, Director of the APPM for Interaction with State Authorities. This portal, according to her, will allow for communication between all interested parties: an enterprise, an educational organization and a student; the employers will be able with its help to make a request for the development of certain skills set of a student, which are most relevant for a particular forestry enterprise.
All participants of the event recommended that representatives of the forestry industry, together with the Federal Forestry Agency and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, solve the problem of staffing of the forestry enterprises by redistributing the admission quotas in forestry, taking into account the real staffing needs of the regions and forestry enterprises.
Based on the results of the round table, four critical paths were proposed:
To create basic departments and classrooms at the enterprises of the timber industry complex
To introduce a modular competency-based approach that will provide the opportunity to build flexible individual and collective-group educational paths for the students
To introduce new systems and technologies for career orientation of the school leavers and graduates, aimed at popularizing and enhancing the prestige of forest professions and specialties, taking into account the needs of the real sector of the economy
To create exchanges of basic and additional professional educational programs available for each employer.