Attracting and retaining human resources in Russia's Arctic Zone sparks discussions at SPIEF 2022
There are plans to create more than 182 thousand jobs in 64 fields in the Arctic by 2035.16 June 2022
From 15 to 18 June, St. Petersburg is hosting the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. On the Forum's day zero, the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East hosted a panel discussion at its booth: "Human Resources as a Factor in Arctic Development: How to Develop and Retain Personnel".
The moderator of the session was Alexey Komissarov, Director General of ANO "Russia, the Country of Opportunities", who opened the discussion by reminding the participants that in April this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin had held a meeting on the development of the Arctic Zone, where he stressed that "solving social, economic, and infrastructural problems in this important region, as well as implementing large-scale investment projects here, has always been and always will be a priority for us".
Russia accounts for two thirds of the Arctic coast. This is whether the Northern Sea Route lies: the national transport lifeline, linking the European part of Russia and the Far East. The region has numerous deposits of natural gas, oil, nickel and cobalt, copper, diamonds, and rare metals, and hundreds of thousands of Russians live and work here in extreme conditions.
"According the Arctic Centre for Strategic Studies, which researched the formation of labour requirements of the Russian Arctic, the plans for 2035 include creating more than 182 thousand jobs in 64 fields, more than 140 thousand of which will be part of 198 investment projects, while another 42 thousand will bolster existing industries ran by 627 employers," said Alexey Komissarov.
Hajimagomed Huseynov, First Deputy Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, noted that the development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation is impossible without creating a quality environment for its people, which should entail integrated modern housing development, urban improvement, a new economy, new businesses, and new jobs.
"Over the past seven years, with the assistance of the Ministry of the Development of the Far East and the Arctic and the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation, investors have put 2 trillion rubles into projects in the Far East and the Arctic, creating more than 104,000 jobs. We were able to create unique preferential conditions. One of the priority tasks is systemic work on the improvement of support measures for business and citizens," Hajimagomed Huseynov noted.
Elvira Nurgalieva, First Deputy General Director for Social Development of the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation, shared the approaches that the Corporation uses to meet staffing challenges: "As a development institution, we are a centre of expertise and knowledge for the macro-territory because we work with residents, employers, and regional governments. In workforce development, our first task and contribution is to analyse staffing needs. We are working systemically with the residents of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and the Capital of the Arctic priority development territory. In the future, we predict the creation of 182 thousand new jobs before 2030".
Irina Yarovaya, Deputy Chairwoman of the Federal Assembly's State Duma, talked about the modern and effective tools for the development of human resources potential in the Arctic that the government is either using or planning to use.
"I proposed a project to create a platform for targeted recruitment, and the Russian government actively supported it. It is important for us to do some matchmaking between employers and future students or young professionals. We do not want to tie this down to a narrow territory, though. We want to deploy the open supply principle. I would suggest that the Leaders of Russia make a call for a modern-day Papanin movement. We need to introduce an element of challenge, to see who among the young leaders involved in this project is ready to take responsibility and go to work in the Arctic or in the Far East. It seems to me that laying down such paths in real life is the only way we can build a grand future for the Arctic. I completely agree that salaries in the Arctic and the Far East should be higher. My suggestion is to start paying northern bonuses and coefficient from day one, not after working for a specific amount of time. Let this be an additional incentive for all young professionals," said Irina Yarovaya.
Alexey Komissarov, Director General of "Russia, the Country of Opportunities", added that, starting from 2021, his platform has been working together with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation to follow the orders of the President of the Russian Federation and execute a special project titled "Centres for the Assessment and Development of Managerial Competencies". The project helps university students determine their supra-professional competencies (soft skills) and subsequently improve them as part of their individual development. After completing this process, each student receives a digital portfolio, and the employer receives a specialist that has worked both on their professional and supra-professional competencies. As many as 42 Competence Centres were created in 22 regions of Russia over the course of one year. Such Centres are available in every federal district, and more than 60 universities and 120,000 students are already involved. Some of the Centres are industry-specific.
At the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, held on 15-18 June, 2022, the Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic opened a special booth titled "Arctic: the Territory of Dialogue" for the first time. The booth's business programme covers over 15 events. Some of them are part of the plan for Russia's chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021-2023, operated by the Roscongress Foundation. The exhibition is located at Expoforum, on the first floor of Pavilion G.