The RUSNANO’s FIEP Has Presented Staffing Models for Innovative Industries at the International Labor Forum

26 April 2021

A delegation from the RUSNANO’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs (FIEP) (part of the VEB.RF Group) took part in the 5th St. Petersburg International Labor Forum. They spoke about the importance of early vocational guidance and project work for school children, the growing need for a lifelong learning trajectory throughout their working lives, the contribution of the vocational qualifications system to shortening the time it takes to implement innovative projects, and to significantly increasing productivity and thus production efficiency.

Project recruitment mechanism

For several years now, FIEP has been supporting projects in St. Petersburg aimed at increasing the region’s investment potential through the efficient use and enhancement of its human resource potential. Initially, a staffing model was developed—the technology that allows employers or project managers to identify competence needs based on their strategic objectives and transfer them to universities so that they could quickly upgrade their skills or train the relevant people. The model is already being tested in several enterprises in St. Petersburg. At the same time, a list of priority technologies and sectors to be developed in the region has been identified together with the city’s Labor and Employment Committee.

“With the participation of the Fund, requirements have been developed for digital transformation specialists and for specialists who will use the tools of the national qualifications system to forecast the human resources needs of the regions. We intend to involve employment service specialists in this project by training them in design technologies,” Angelina Volkova, Head of Vocational Qualifications Development at FIEP, said at the “Teams 4.0—the solution exists!” session. There they also discussed how to upgrade the workforce planning model, what needed to be strengthened, and what was lacking so that there iwass more interaction among all actors in the labor market.

Another FIEP project aims to create a technology to identify qualification requirements for professionals who will work in the nascent sectors. This is the case, for example, with atomic-molecular engineering, which can be applied in chemistry, materials science, and biotechnology. The development is being carried out together with the ITMO University.

The work of the Fund is focused on involving young people in project activities and on shaping their educational and professional trajectory, including by making a conscious choice about their future profession. This was the topic of the St. Petersburg State University students’ battle on “The Ideal Company through the Eyes of a Young Professional”, held as part of the Labor Forum. It reflected current trends and young people’s understanding of the content of future professional activities, which should certainly be taken into account in career guidance work, said Angelina Volkova, who was a member of the competition jury.

High-precision training

FIEP has a tried and tested technology for creating educational programs to improve the qualifications or retraining of professionals working in high-tech companies. Their distinctive feature is a clear focus on the needs of a specific enterprise that is modernizing, adopting advanced technology, developing and bringing to market an innovative product, launching or expanding production. The Fund provides ongoing expert and methodological support at all stages of program development, trains universities in advanced educational technologies, including distance learning, and provides tools for identifying real business needs and qualification deficits at the enterprises ordering the retraining of their specialists.

“Actually, the Fund is helping businesses and universities find a common language and create a compact training course that addresses the specific needs of a seemingly single enterprise. Since we work in the most innovative field of nanotechnology, the programs turn out to be highly sought after by universities, helping them to update their entire educational and research process,” explained Stanislav Nisimov, Director of the Department of Education Programs and Professional Skills at FIEP, at the Lifelong Learning session on the prospects for additional professional education. He said that with the support of the Fund, 80 of the country’s leading technical universities had been involved in developing 217 educational programs for more than 200 companies. More than 100,000 specialists and students have been trained and have taken their knowledge into research and development or industry. Two-thirds of higher education institutions report an increase in R&D funding for those companies for which educational programs have been developed with the Fund’s participation.

The Fund’s approach is also beneficial for the enterprises that order the educational program. As a result of the projects, in over 80% of the cases, businesses report improved product quality and wider markets; 67% say their employees have become more motivated to innovate. After a year and a half, there is an outpacing increase in productivity compared to other enterprises in the industry.

Inviting children to become technoentrepreneurs

Andrey Melnikov, Director of the Department of New Educational Technologies and Projects for Children and Young People at FIEP, spoke at the “Vocational guidance in the VUCA world” session. The high-tech industry is well aware that in a world of fast-changing technology it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict what the products will be like even in a few years’ time. It is therefore a challenge for modern schools and vocational education and training to provide children with education that will ensure their future success and guarantee their professional and personal success. The previous models of career guidance for children and young people are being called into question, as is the notion of a profession itself. One of the assumptions that follows from such a situation of high uncertainty is that several basic competencies and behaviors need to be developed, in particular the ability to learn continuously throughout life. When it comes to the high-tech sector, there is a specific motivation and awareness that you have to study long and hard to enter this sector in 10-15 years, not just as an operator “on the machine”, but as a creator of new technologies.

“The term ‘career guidance’ needs to be rethought. A possible way of preparing for an uncertain future could be the so-called T-education, involving broad general training together with narrow specialization, as well as the increasingly popular microlearning, which allows learning and applying new skills quickly,” Andrey Melnikov said.

To help children see whether a particular activity is of interest to them, the Fund develops projects that help them try out roles that they will encounter in their adult lives. As an example, the Department Head cited the Nanograd summer project school within the RUSNANO Schools League program, where children look for optimal, creative solutions to problematic technological cases encountered by real high-tech enterprises in the context of a big business game. However, the FIEP project “Technoleaders of the Future” helps high school students turn their own idea into an “adult” startup.

“We call it pre-professional tryouts when we give children real business tasks to work through. They have to be immersed in the topic deeply enough, it has to ‘grab’. After this, the issue of learning becomes somewhat secondary: the interested child will wear down everyone and everything—the teacher, parents, tutors, the Internet, and textbooks. He/she will become a proactive participant in the learning process,” Andrey Melnikov is convinced.

Reference

The Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs was established in 2010 in accordance with Federal Law No. 211-FZ “On reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.” The Fund aims to develop the innovative infrastructure in the sphere of nanotechnology and implement the educational and infrastructure programs already started by RUSNANO.

The supreme collegial management body of the Fund is the Supervisory Board. Under the Fund’s Charter, the competence of the Supervisory Council, in particular, includes the issues of determining the priority directions of the Fund’s activity, as well as its strategy and budget. The Chairman of the Fund’s Executive Board, the collegial management body, is the Chairman of the Board of Management Company RUSNANO LLC Sergey Kulikov.