Marina Potapova: "When You Do Not Know What to Do in Life—Go Study”

The Granada Press Media Holding held a press conference on state-funded advanced training in the labour market. Marina Potapova, Deputy Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs of South Ural State University, took part in the event and spoke about the possibilities of the federal project Promotion of Employment of the national project Demography, which the university helps realize alongside the Main Directorate of Labour and Employment of the Chelyabinsk Region.

Within this project, specific categories of people can learn a new profession or improve their skills in 2021–2024 at the expense of the state. Ten categories of the population can participate in the project, including the unemployed, people at risk of dismissal, people over 50 years old and people of pre-retirement age, mothers on maternity leave with children under three years old, unemployed mothers of preschool children, those without secondary professional or higher education, etc. SUSU has 21 programs and covers a wide range of professions, from seamstress to web designer.

According to Marina Potapova, when developing the training programs, the university is primarily guided by the Main Directorate of Labour and Employment of the Chelyabinsk Region, and looks at which categories of people apply and look for work. There are programs for mastering technical specialties, such as programming CNC machines, there are programs related to the hospitality and entertainment industry, entrepreneurship, and design.

"Today the most in-demand programs are business planning within the entrepreneurship competence, guide/ tour guide, and pricing and estimates in production. At the same time there are training programs that are not that popular, but are in-demand among employers,” said the Deputy Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs. “Thus, at the request of our region we developed the program Catering Enterprise Production Supervisor. We hope that in the near future it will be running at full steam. There is a huge demand among employers for such specialists. We have created this very practically-oriented program, taught by specialists who work in this field—in production. And there are two more programs for training the specialists our region needs—tailors and seamstresses to repair and sew garments. So far, a small number of residents are studying there.”

Specialists note that burnout very often occurs within one's main profession. And this is a big problem. The Employment Assistance Project is mainly focused on retraining, so that any person of any age category can find themselves and continue to work well.

"When you don't know what to do in life—go study. When you begin to think that you want to learn something, you start to streamline your life and build a new direction of development. Become needed and important within your profession," says Marina Potapova.

Within this project, SUSU does not just offer education, it also assists in employment, as this is one of the key tasks of the project. Interested parties have to conclude a tri-party agreement between the training organization and an employer.

"SUSU is a large university, it has connections with enterprises and organisations. From the very beginning, when we declare a training program, we understand where we are going to employ people. If a person decides to become an individual entrepreneur or self-employed, then we teach them how to move to the special tax regime for self-employed citizens—the professional income tax", said Marina Potapova.

To participate in the program, residents must first register at the Employment Centre. There, registrants will get information what training programs they can apply for. Then they must register on the Work in Russia portal and choose the training program that interests them. A call centre representative from SUSU is immediately attached to the applicant, who will help them go through the documentation process. Enrolment occurs within 10 days.

Depending on the program, the courses last from 2 weeks to 3 months. The minimum training period is 72 hours (short professional development courses). For example, the Pricing and Estimation in Production is designed for 144 hours. If an applicant wants to obtain a new profession, then they need to complete a professional retraining program (256 hours).

The Deputy Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs also spoke about plans to develop the project:

"Everything related to training and employment is very fluid and is shaped by the here and now. We are constantly monitoring the labour market so that next year, in addition to the in-demand best-selling programs that we have today, there will be new training programs that employers demand. In January 2023, together with the Main Directorate of Labour and Employment of Chelyabinsk Region, we will analyse and propose an updated list of programs. SUSU's position is that additional professional education should have abundant offerings, because people, situations, and circumstances are different and one should be prepared for different requests".

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