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Videoconference with WorldSkills participants

November 1, 2019, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

Vladimir Putin held a videoconference with participants of the VI WorldSkills Russia Hi-Tech Competition 2019, which took place in Yekaterinburg, and representatives from companies, organisations and universities that take an active part in training skilled professionals for the Russian economy.

The videoconference was also attended by directors and young specialists from the Rostov R-Pharm plant of active pharmaceutical ingredients (Rostov, Yaroslavl Region), SIBUR-Neftekhim (Dzerzhinsk, Nizhny Novgorod Region), Pervouralsk New Pipe Plant (Pervouralsk, Sverdlovsk Region), Stavropol State Agrarian University and Yekaterinburg Economic and Technological College.

The National Championship of Cross-Industry Working Professions in High-Tech Industries (WorldSkills Hi-Tech) has been held every year in Yekaterinburg since 2014, and it brings together specialists from major Russian industrial enterprises. This year it took place from October 28 to November 1.

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Excerpts from transcript of videoconference:

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues and friends, good afternoon,

I would like to welcome you sincerely, first of all, those whom we can call real masters – workers, engineers, and all those who demonstrated their knowledge and skills at the sixth national championship on working professions and engineering skills. I wish you further success in your work, profession and, of course, in life in general. Naturally, I am glad to have this opportunity to talk with the other participants of the system for training in working professions.

I must say that the WorldSkills international movement has struck root in this country and become a national effort. This is primarily because it meets the strategic goals for our development, the requirements of the education system, the economy, and our entire society.

WorldSkills embraces all regions of the Russian Federation – 3,500 colleges, 160 universities and 25 major domestic companies.

Importantly, the focus of this system is aimed at developing human talent and abilities and creating broad opportunities for people of all ages – and I want to lay emphasis on this, to receive new competencies or a new profession.

This will allow them to take a step forward in their careers, increase the income and wellbeing of their families and be in demand in a constantly growing and rapidly changing market.

With international standards in mind, and in conjunction with businesses, colleges and universities, the state began to create a mechanism for continuous professional training, including competitions, and let me repeat it once again, this training is for our citizens of all ages.

Russia is the country that is using WorldSkills to promote training for schoolchildren along with career guidance and additional technical training, so that young people can have a hands-on experience in their future profession.

We have come up with a unique competition format for the employees of our major enterprises and corporations. The results are a clear and fair reflection of the efforts by the state and businesses, and companies which train skilled workers and engineers for high-tech industries.

The Skills of the Wise competition with the participation of older workers has a special role to play. They are knowledgeable people with refined professional skills. Of course, they should be mentors for younger professionals. This is our long-standing tradition dating back to Soviet times.

In this regard, I would like to note another important unifying mission which, as I mentioned earlier, was formed quite a long time ago. It is to strengthen the link between generations. Of course, cooperation of training institutions and the real sector of the economy is a vivid example of a win-win approach, as they say in business.

The results of this interaction can be clearly seen in modern training programmes, internships and job placement for students at advanced production sites, staff development and joint work on creating unique products and services.

I would like to point out that cooperation between enterprises and schools must be stepped up in the future. We can and must, in any way we can, further promote our high advanced standards in staff training and share our experiences with other countries.

So, it is important that WorldSkills Hi-Tech, which took place recently, also hosted the Open Eurasian WorldSkills Championship in which our young professionals competed with their colleagues from BRICS and the SCO countries.

In all, eight countries, specifically, Belarus, Brazil, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and South Africa, took part in the championship.

I would like to sincerely wish every success to the movement and give the floor to Yekaterinburg.


Vladimir Putin: In conclusion, I would like to say the following: you know this very well, but I will repeat some ideas. First, the problem of training personnel and the shortage of professionals with the required qualifications are typical not only of Russia, but also of the world labour market in general. This applies to many countries, including the advanced economies of Western Europe, our neighbours and major partners.

We understand these problems here. For Russia they are fairly urgent. If we do not make a vigorous effort to resolve them, according to the same authoritative foreign sources, by the end of 2030 we will be short of about 3 million qualified personnel.

True, this is a bit less than is predicted for Germany or Britain, but this is a lot for us as well. Moreover, this could lead to losses in the Russian economy, which could result in a shortfall in revenue that runs into the hundreds of billions of dollars. This is a very serious problem and a serious challenge for us.

Today, I heard many important and interesting facts about the activities of the WorldSkills movement. They provide assistance in the choice of profession, help develop a new modern production culture and, as a result, ensure an increase in labour productivity based on new knowledge and skills. Finally, they create social lifts that ensure professional growth and, as a result, as a side effect, a career promotion.

All these facts and many other ideas, whether they were mentioned or not, but are certainly present in your movement, are very important for this country and must definitely be supported by any means possible.

I think the Government should finally establish a united centre of support for this movement, as well as for training and retraining of permanent personnel in engineering skills and other occupations, including vocational professions.

I would like to congratulate all those who took part in our conversation and those who did not but took part in the WorldSkills Hi-Tech competitions, on the results of your work, on your victories. I would like to wish you new and impressive achievements in you professions and at international venues that will be hosting these competitions in the vocational professions.

Thank you very much, and I wish you all the best.

November 1, 2019, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region