The sectoral qualifications system is useful both for businesses and for educational institutions
“The Group has been working on the independent assessment of qualifications since 2017. The National Qualifications System (NQS) helps employers find the right people for the job. We try to make the most of these opportunities and are planning to develop this area even further,” Julia Kuznetsova, Acting Deputy Director General for Human Resources, Rosseti.
“There are several participants in the National Professional Qualifications System – employees, employers, industry and the state. We believe that the system is built in a very balanced way. Looking at it in terms of risk management, you understand that participation at every level is beneficial for everyone involved. After all, participation in the National Professional Qualifications System allows us to get an idea of the best techniques and work practices in areas where professional standards are approved,” Yury Pikhtovnikov, Head of the Department of Organizational Development and Career Management, PJSC LUKOIL.
“I’d like to say a few words about synergy. We’ve developed a huge number of initiatives with various companies, including Rosseti and others, that we are implementing together. It’s great that we are able to carry out such work with flagship companies,” Nikolay Rogalev, Rector, National Research University Moscow Power Engineering Institute.
“Universities are now actively applying for professional accreditation, understanding that this offers them a clear competitive advantage,” Pavel Ivanov, Director, Center for Planning and Use of Labor Resources, Gazprom.
There are not enough participants in the National Professional Qualifications System
“Business sectors are implementing elements of the professional qualifications system at different rates, and interest in NPQs is generally mixed. It is clear that the main stakeholders here are companies with state participation. They are obliged to ensure that professional standards are implemented and followed. On the other hand, we have the coal industry, which is made up primarily of privately owned companies. There’s no industry-based professional qualifications council. It’s a bumpy road, as companies are not exactly clamouring for such a system. So the prospects are somewhat blurred,” Anastasiya Bondarenko, State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.
“A total of 119 graduates sat exams at Rosseti Qualification Assessment Centers in 2021, with only 55% obtaining passing grades. This is another indicator that closer interaction is needed between educational institutions and employers,” Julia Kuznetsova, Acting Deputy Director General for Human Resources, Rosseti.
The high business costs of implementing professional standards
“Another barrier – and everyone knows this – is that it costs a lot for employers to implement this system. It’s extremely expensive. And the problem is particularly relevant for companies whose cost items and elements are strictly regulated,” Anastasiya Bondarenko, State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.
“There are some 77 professional standards in the oil and gas industry, 25 of which are mandatory. Only certain employees fall under these 25 standards. If we force them to sit and pass exams every five years to move further up the career ladder and calculate how much it will cost to do this, then we are looking at around 1 billion roubles every year,” Pavel Ivanov, Director, Center for Planning and Use of Labor Resources, Gazprom.
Improving legislation and strengthening cooperation between universities and employers
“We believe that standardized qualification requirements are absolutely necessary for professions and positions that have increased risks. And periodic independent appraisal of these workers is essential. Labour legislation tells us that professional standards are mandatory in cases where it is expressly stated. But such cases are also few and far between. Perhaps we should think about improving regulation in this are,” Anastasiya Bondarenko, State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.
“I think the most sensible solution would be for universities to team up with professional qualifications councils, because the latter can develop and update professional standards and come up with tools for the independent assessment of qualifications,” Artem Shadrin, General Director, National Agency for Qualifications Development.
“Feedback from employers is extremely important. Sure, it might not always be pleasant. But it is important to listen to what employers have to say because no one’s perfect, after all. Universities make mistakes, and so do we,” Nikolay Rogalev, Rector, National Research University Moscow Power Engineering Institute.
“It will be a big step if we jointly develop practices that MPEI, Rosseti and other companies have talked so positively about today to set up systematic partnerships between employers and universities for developing students’ professional skills. And we want to test out these kinds of innovative cooperation formats and promote their replication and development,” Artem Shadrin, General Director, National Agency for Qualifications Development.
For more, see the Roscongress Foundation’s Information and Analytical System roscongress.org.