System of Vocational Training for Workers Needs Improvement

30 january 2017

Most Russian experts say the state of the country's vocational training system is absolutely atrocious. Not only does it completely fail to meet the needs of the economy, it is also quite detached from the situation in the labor market and demographic trends. In their new social development bulletin titled Vocational Training of Workers in the System of the Russian Labor Market, the Analytical Center experts consider the current development trends in the vocational training of workers in the context of labor market dynamics in Russia, attempting not only to enumerate the existing problems but also offer possible solutions.

The authors of the report conclude that the Russian legislation regulating vocational training of workers does not have sufficiently precise definitions for the approaches that should be used in primary vocational training and in the work of training organizations; it also fails to define the conditions that must be met for the vocational training of workers on the job and provision of adequate career advice to the population, as well as conditions for proper financing and functioning of the whole system.

The experts believe that the legislative provisions permitting the delivery of paid educational services to the population fail to meet the requirements of both international law and the Russian Constitution, which guarantees free high-school level vocational education at state or municipal vocational schools. In addition, in practice, effective cooperation between government departments and different sectors of the economy is hardly ever achieved; there are also serious problems with coordinating the efforts of the different organizations set up to promote vocational training of workers.

The specialists are of the opinion that the existing system of legislative documents and other legal regulations governing the vocational training of workers that is in place today was designed with a sustained long term development and modernization of the economy in mind. "This conceptual vision is hopelessly out of touch with the realities of the current socio-economic situation in the country and the medium term forecasts of its changing, meaning that it creates very serious risks that the amount and type of vocational training of workers provided by the system will completely fail to meet the demands of both the real sector of the economy and the population while also posing a threat of suboptimal use of the funds appropriated for the vocational training of workers," the authors of the study point out.

The experts are confident that the current problems can only be overcome by improving the planning and forecasting functions of the vocational training system through public-private partnerships as well as by expediting the standardization of vocational training and improving statistical data collection at the federal level. It is also important to keep improving the methodology and practice of monitoring the education system to get more in-depth and detailed information about the characteristics of vocational training processes.

For more see the bulletin Vocational Training of Workers in the System of the Russian Labor Market.

For the other social bulletins see Publications.