Posted 23 января 2023,, 15:36

Published 23 января 2023,, 15:36

Modified 23 января 2023,, 16:48

Updated 23 января 2023,, 16:48

Professor Irina Abankina: "There is no more time to search for labor reserves for the military-industrial complex"

Professor Irina Abankina: "There is no more time to search for labor reserves for the military-industrial complex"

23 января 2023, 15:36
Due to the shortage of personnel, defense enterprises began to attract people of almost retirement age to production. What prevents our industry from relying on young personnel and how to make them the basis of the military-industrial complex? Journalist Irina Mishina found out this with Irina Abankina, a professor at the HSE Institute of Education.

- Today, it is clear to everyone without exception: as part of the mobilization of the economy for military needs, a reform of vocational education is urgently needed. As the former First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation, Doctor of Economics Yuri Voronin stated during the conversation with Novye Izvestia, under the USSR there were important incentives for obtaining working professions. For example, after the war in the USSR, education in the 9th and 10th grades of secondary schools was made paid. While the state paid a high scholarship for training in vocational schools after the 8th grade, thereby directing young people to the professions necessary for the country. There was financial stimulation in the universities themselves. For example, at the faculties specialized for the military-industrial complex, the scholarship was 400 rubles, and the increased one was 650, which was comparable to the salary of a qualified specialist. Maybe it's worth remembering this practice now?

- Under the USSR, there was a large network of FZU – factory schools that willingly accepted young people after the 8th grade to work specialties, paying good scholarships there and guaranteeing employment. At the same time, the plant participated in the payment of scholarships to students. Under the USSR, there was also a system of higher education institutions at enterprises, in particular, at the military-industrial complex, they gave specialized education. Can we now switch to Soviet practice? As for paid education in grades 9-11 – definitely not, because we have universal affordable free secondary education. We cannot have paid education in public schools, it would be a violation of the Constitution. After the war, there was no compulsory secondary education, as there is now. As for scholarships, some enterprises can still participate in their payment to college students in the military-industrial complex profile, for example. But today it is more convenient for factories to conclude contracts with colleges and invite students to practice. Such a system exists, as far as I know, at Rostselmash. Factories often conclude contracts with colleges for the graduation and employment of specialized specialists. This was done, for example, in Yekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk. They have created a network of colleges that are directly connected not only with defense factories, but also with the military, with the army.

- In 2022, there was a turning point in the mentality of schoolchildren. If a few years ago, most students dreamed of entering a university, then last year the picture changed dramatically. Colleges and technical schools now go not only after the ninth grade, but even 11th graders, and their number increases from year to year. At the end of July, it turned out that the competition for the budget in some specialties reaches several people per place. It turns out that not everything is so bad with secondary special education?

- I would not flatter myself, because the growing popularity of colleges is often associated with training in specialty programs in "fashionable" specialties. This is a stylist, designer, accountant, nurse and others. According to working qualifications, the competition is not so high. Interestingly, in 2021, a short two-year specialty program was introduced, in particular, in working professions.

- And where are all these specialists? Why don't we see them at factories and military-industrial complex enterprises that actually invite pensioners to the machine?

- Young guys are not in production now for one good objective reason. The fact is that most of them graduate from college by the age of 16-17 and face a barrier in getting a job. After all, employment in production, especially heavy, is limited until adulthood. There are restrictions under the Labor Code, some items are of an international nature. As far as I know, the issue of admission to work in production, in particular, in the military-industrial complex, of persons from the age of 16 is being resolved. But there are relevant questions about the safety of adolescents. After all, young men at the age of 18 often do not have the capabilities of a mature, strong person. And this is not an option when we will rely mainly on 16-year-olds or 60-year-olds in the military-industrial complex and heavy production. After all, these are risk groups – teenagers and old people. Solving problems of national importance at the expense of risk groups is not an option.

- If the older generation is vulnerable due to diseases, then the youth in the "risk group" is vulnerable for another reason: many may be waiting for mobilization and conscription ...

- Indeed, a young man at the age when he can be most in demand, either falls under the probability of partial mobilization, or he is drafted into the army. Although formally there is a postponement from mobilization for military-industrial complex employees, there were a lot of overlays with the appeal of those who, in theory, were entitled to a reservation. In the regions, the situation is actually very difficult: the military enlistment office requires a certain number of mobilized from the region, and there is no time for delays… However, now, after the recent orders of the president, military enlistment offices are instructed to approach persons with a delay more carefully. But you put the question quite correctly. There really is a problem for young cadres: they cannot work at the factory until they are 18, because labor legislation prohibits it, and after 18 they are subject to conscription into the army. When the service in the army was reduced to a year, it was a plus for working specialties: a person could still retain skills, hands did not forget the machine. Two years is already a lot. Now the transfer of conscription to a later age is being discussed. The decision is not easy, but it is necessary.

We must not forget that IT specialists are also needed in factories. Today, any weapon, any machine without electronics is a pile of iron. Therefore, IT specialists are also needed in factories. And it is also desirable to be young, because we are talking about completely new technologies, for which young fresh heads are needed.

- Maybe we should finally think about a financial incentive to attract young people to colleges for working specialties?

- College scholarships have been repeatedly increased, but they still lag behind the demands of modern youth. Recently, the LDPR faction proposed to establish a state scholarship not lower than the minimum wage for full-time students at the expense of the budget. The relevant bill, as far as I know, has already been prepared. This will involve an increase in the scholarship by actually 20 times! The price of the issue is high, because the state is now helping targeted families with children, as well as those in need.

Now universities and colleges distribute targeted subsidies independently, but their level remains insufficient. But the respect for the chosen profession and the assessment of its prestige depend on the increase of the scholarship in college! In my opinion, among college students, it is necessary to identify groups for which it makes sense to increase the scholarship, taking into account the prospects of working at a certain enterprise, for example, in the defense industry. But if the scholarship is increased, guarantees are needed to work out the acquired skills so that the person justifies the funds invested in him in production. Perhaps it is worth concluding contracts with enterprises so that they pay allowances to scholarships to future workers of the military-industrial complex. These issues can be discussed with the largest enterprises such as Uralmash or Uralvagonzavod.

- Once upon a time there was a slogan under the USSR: "Worker – it sounds proud!". Famous directors made films about the workers, artists often depicted the workers on posters and paintings. How to return the lost high reputation to working specialties?

- First of all, financial encouragement, starting from the moment of training. This is now not only an economic issue, but also a political one, and it must be resolved quickly. The selected groups of college students with in-demand working specialties should be financially stimulated by a high scholarship, distributed to production, given as soon as possible to earn decent money on their own and provide a reservation from mobilization. People should feel from an early age that the state is interested in them.

- Where else can you find labor reserves now, except for young people and people of retirement age?

- Among migrant workers. Moreover, it is possible to start training personnel in the republics themselves by creating a network of educational institutions there in the specialties that are most needed at the moment in Russia. When moving to Russia to work on a work profile, it is necessary to take into account the requests of migrants: this is not only a salary, but also adequate normal housing. Most of the migrants work in Russia temporarily, so you can provide housing for social employment, or a good hostel.

- The worker is associated not with young men and not with gray-moustached old men at the machine, but with a middle-aged man, mature and strong enough. Where to get such?

- It is necessary to create a retraining system. We have endangered towns and villages where there is virtually no work, from there it makes sense to pull human resources to cities where there are factories, centers of the military-industrial complex. The issue of urbanization in the country should be considered closely, in my opinion. Economic growth can now be ensured by moving people to cities with production centers, primarily with the defense industry.

Everything needs to be solved in a complex: urbanization, plus an increase in scholarships and salaries, taking care of young personnel and attracting migrants to factories. There is no more time to swing.