Partial mobilization affected about 300,000 Russians, which is less than 0.5% of the total number of people employed in the economy. It would seem that this should not seriously affect the labor market. However, it turned out that in many industries, employers had to part with qualified employees and urgently make up for personnel losses, look for an adequate replacement for those who left. In addition, in the event of mobilization, the employer was forced to dismiss the employee. After analyzing the situation, several Russian regions at once announced the "mobilization" of students for vacancies.
The famous words from the popular Soviet song - "The young are dear to us everywhere, the old people are honored everywhere" - have recently been working exactly the opposite. Demographers have been talking about the lack of young people in the labor market for several years. According to Rosstat, in 2021 the number of young workers aged 20 to 29 in Russia decreased by almost half a million people. Over the past 10 years, there have been 6 million fewer young people in the workplace. Every year this trend is gaining momentum. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, this was due to the demographic hole in the 90s, and secondly, due to the coronavirus pandemic, during which many workers under the age of 30 who worked in the service, entertainment and small business sectors lost my job. Only a part of them was able to receive additional education and change their occupation.
An analogy with the current "labor mobilization" of young people can only be found during the Great Patriotic War. As you know, at the end of 1941, forced labor service was introduced in the USSR. Military-type labor organizations were created in the form of worker battalions included in the NKVD system, and later - the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs. Separate such labor collectives continued to exist in the post-war period. Labor policy in the USSR has long been associated with the terms "labor service". She paid very little, if at all.
The current labor mobilization does not conflict with Russian legislation. Labor mobilization takes place on the basis of legal acts in an emergency or in wartime. So, in paragraph 2 of Art. 10 (“Obligations of citizens”) of the law “On mobilization training and mobilization in the Russian Federation” states that citizens during the period of mobilization or in wartime are involved in the performance of work in order to ensure the defense of the country and the security of the state, and are also enlisted in special formations in the prescribed manner ".
At the same time, the labor mobilization of students raised questions among the experts.
“I would like to hope that we are talking about actions agreed with students, and students are invited on a paid basis. However, it is not clear how the student will continue his studies: whether it will be an evening or part-time form. One way or another, I would not want education to suffer, ”said Irina Abankina, professor at the Institute for the Development of Education at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.
Such mobilization also has its “pluses”: young people will be able to find a job faster and decide on a specialty. According to NI, the "mobilization" of students today has affected Kuzbass and the Kursk region to a greater extent. It is reported that in Kuzbass the process is going well: in a week the organizers received more than 160 applications from enterprises and have already filled more than 130 vacancies. The work is voluntary, students are quite willing to respond to offers. First of all, they are attracted by the opportunity to earn money and practice in their field. Lawyers at the same time declare that the rights of students are not violated. First of all, students are sent to industrial enterprises of the metallurgical and coal industries. One of the first customers was the Rosseti enterprise and the structures that ensure the vital activity of cities. It is interesting that the enterprises announced recruitment not only for those places that the mobilized employees left.
“Labor mobilization has so far affected cities where factories and production work in several shifts and where specialists are needed in production. I would like to note at the same time that graduates are rarely hired immediately for the positions of engineers and technologists, the alternative is state-owned enterprises with a salary of 30-50 thousand rubles a month. If the proposal matches the profile of the student, it is very good,” says Irina Abankina, professor at the Institute for the Development of Education at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.
The press service of the administration of the Kursk region told us: “In the Kursk region, the Ivanov Kursk State Agricultural Academy is ready for this work, since it is in the agricultural sector that the greatest need for personnel is. Now the university trains students in about 60 specialties, which can replace specialists who have left for a while for the period of the SVO. But the work is carried out with other universities, technical schools and colleges. Specialties that are ready to be replaced right now: tractor drivers, agricultural equipment fitters, ecologists, agronomists. All employers who in one way or another work in the agro-industrial complex can apply to the KSCA,” explained the head of the regional committee of education and science Natalia Bastrikova, answering a question about the work to attract students to the places of workers who were called up as part of partial mobilization.
“Now in the sector of the agro-industrial complex, the greatest need for personnel. Agricultural enterprises can contact the agricultural academy directly. All other enterprises should apply to the Education Committee of the Kursk Region,” said Viktor Karamyshev, Deputy Governor of the Kursk Region.
As we were informed in the press service of the administration of the governor of the Chelyabinsk region , referring to the Ministry of Education and Science of the region, at present there is no special “labor mobilization” program for students to replace mobilized employees, and so far such a program is not planned. Higher educational institutions of the Chelyabinsk region are working on the issue individually. “In particular, Chelyabinsk State University is in cooperation with the enterprises of the city and collects information about the need for students of specialized specialties to fill the work duties of mobilized employees,” the press service of the governor explained.
The administration of the Kurgan region reported that at the initiative of the governor Vadim Shumkov , graduate students of secondary specialized educational institutions spend their last year of study directly at enterprises in order to gain the necessary practice and skills. They can, in the usual manner, be employed by enterprises, including those who have been mobilized.
The Committee on Public Communications of the Administration of the Leningrad Region told NI: “There are no plans for labor mobilization of students in the Leningrad Region. The region is ready to consider similar experience of colleagues from other subjects, but at present there is no need for this.”
Thus, while the labor mobilization of young people for enterprises exists more in the words of some regional officials than in reality.
We asked whether we should expect a reduction in the target enrollment figures in universities and colleges in connection with the “labor mobilization” of students announced in a number of regions and the need for job replacement.
“It follows from the draft budget for 2022-2023 that there will be an expansion of the admission targets for full-time programs and master's programs. No adjustments in the direction of decreasing places are expected. The budget includes scholarships and subsidies. Under the greater threat for universities in the near future - construction and procurement, to a lesser extent - admission. Admission to full-time magistracy is also provided. Admission to colleges will also be expanded, there will be intensive two-year professional education programs with new standards,” explained Irina Abankina, professor at the Institute for the Development of Education at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.
By the way, the trend of transition of schoolchildren to secondary vocational education in Russia is gaining momentum. According to the Superjob survey, if 10 years ago 58% of parents of school graduates said that their child would go to college, in 2022 only 45% of parents said so. According to graduates, college educational material is often more relevant than university lectures and has more applied value, since theoretical science does not always keep pace with practice.