A roundtable on ‘Employment and Careers for Young Professionals in Russia: The Challenges of Our Time’ was held at the Federation Council. The event was attended by Deputy CEO of the Roscongress Foundation Maria Kiseleva, who spoke about the involvement of the socially oriented non-financial development institution in training volunteers and young professionals.
Also present at the event was First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy and coordinator of the Chamber of Young Legislators under the Federation Council Alexander Varfolomeev. The senator acknowledged that, against the backdrop of the pandemic and the current conditions on the global labour market, which has seen an increase in unemployment and a drop in incomes, young people have become one of the most vulnerable social groups and the demand for young professionals has fallen significantly. “Governments must draw up a coordinated set of measures to help young people realize their potential, supporting them from the moment they choose their profession and begin training until their graduation and the day they start their first job,” he said.
The parliamentarian claimed that more and more young people are being forced to take jobs outside their area of expertise, regardless of their level of qualification. Young people sometimes enter the shadow economy or become economically dependent, registering as unemployed in order to receive benefits.
“Measures are of course being taken in our country to support and address the issue of youth unemployment,” the senator continues. He made reference to the law on youth policy adopted at the end of 2020, which provides labour and employment guarantees to young people, promotes the employment of young citizens and supports their professional growth. “At the end of last year, the Government of the Russian Federation approved a long-term programme to promote youth employment to 2030. Its implementation will create the conditions for the realization of young people’s professional, labour and entrepreneurial potential,” he added.
Varfolomeev discussed the emerging contradictions between the educational services market and the real economy as it exists today. Universities must help applicants to make a conscious decision about their future profession and respond flexibly to the labour market’s requirements for professionals during the admissions process in order to overcome these contradictions.
According to chair of the Chamber of Young Legislators Alexander Sapronov, current trends such as digitalization, globalization and openness are driving major changes in the labour market. Many new forms of employment and training are emerging, some professions are disappearing, and young people are having to plan their lives and careers admist constantly fluctuating economic and labour market conditions. “The new reality means that the work of employment services must be redirected, shifting the focus from a passive employment policy that supports the unemployed to a proactive format. A targeted approach to each specific applicant is required,” he said.
Dmitry Bubnov, the chair of the Committee on Sports and Youth Policy of the Chamber of Young Legislators also spoke at the session, noting that there is a demand for a new type of professional in the digital economy who is able to deal with tasks requiring a creative approach and willing to work alongside other people and artificial intelligence systems. “The skillset required by the labour market is gradually transforming. We are talking about the skills of the future, many of which have already been forecast and identified,” he said.
Deputy CEO of the Roscongress Foundation Maria Kiseleva spoke about the involvement of the socially oriented non-financial development institution in training volunteers and young professionals for major Russian and international events. Also mentioned were the Roscongress Foundation’s School Friend project, a special programme supporting the psychological and emotional adaptation of young people for office work and Talanty, an intelligence platform for career guidance, testing and employment which is set to become a logical continuation of the Foundation’s volunteer programme and employment initaitives for young professionals.
“The Roscongress Foundation is working continuously to help young professionals take their first steps towards work experience and formal employment, and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to begin a successful career. After looking at the skills and competencies of the young people who have worked with us as volunteers and young professionals, we decided that we needed a comprehensive approach to the high-quality employment of young people and the development of a state-level mechanism to find effective solutions in this area. In view of this, we welcome initiatives to organize events and projects focusing on the employment and professional careers of young Russian graduates, and are willing to play an active role,” said Deputy CEO of the Roscongress Foundation Maria Kiseleva. “Given our position at the forefront of the labour market for young professionals, we often meet young professsionals at the crossroads of the two tectonic plates known as ‘study’ and ‘work’, which represent successive stages in the life of a young person. While bridges are often built to connect them, what is actually needed is a multi-lane highway unobstructed by congestion or traffic lights. The Roscongress Foudation’s volunteer programme and initiatives to identify and employ young people are the logical next step of our socially oriented activities and our belief that young people’s ability to achieve their goals, their creative energy and their potential will always be needed by society,” she added.
At the end of the session, the participants put together a set of recommendations for relevant departments concerning the need to adopt new measures and introduce tools to improve quantitative and qualitative indicators for the promotion of youth employment in the Russian Federation, and to scale up best practices in career guidance and employment for graduates and young professionals.
The session was also attended by deputy director of the Department for Employment and Labour Migration of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Denis Shamgunov, deputy director of the Department for State Youth Policy and Education of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Valentina Shalashnikova, head of the Centre for Youth Initiatives of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives Alexander Vaino, members of the Chamber of Young Legislators under the Federation Council, and representatives of the professional community.