Insufficient attention paid to the employment of the elderly in Russia

10 april 2017

"When considering the contours of the future world of employment, it is necessary to take into account the following three development concepts: the green, digital (information) and silver economies," said Vladislav Onischenko, First Deputy Head of the Analytical Center, speaking at "The Future of Work We Want: A Global Dialogue" conference.

Currently neither the green economy size nor its impact on labor markets is significant, the expert noted.  "One can hardly expect the green economy to exert a significant influence on the main parameters of most national labor markets, including the Russian one, any time soon. There can only be minor changes in the sector and professional structures of employment," Mr. Onischenko said. For Russia, the most promising green economy industries are: agriculture and forestry, fisheries, housing and communal services, energy, industry, tourism, transport, waste management and recycling sectors.

The second development concept — the digital economy — is a new phenomenon related to the penetration of information technology into production, business processes and marketing. The expert noted that according to a World Bank estimate, digital economy development will contribute to job creation and the emergence of new sectors, companies and jobs, as well as to the disappearance of professions associated with low-skilled labor and demand for highly skilled workers qualified to design and use machines. Thereby, according to the expert, some fundamentally new approaches to national employment and social protection policies, tools for their practical implementation and subsequent formalization in form of international agreements will be required. "Here, in Russia, preparation of a new digital economy program to become a large-scale system-wide economy development program of a new hi-tech generation have already started," added Mr. Onischenko, "Preliminary, the program should be developed by June 2017 to be implemented by 2025."

The silver economy is defined as an economy that centers around population ageing processes and takes into account the specific needs of the elderly, the expert explained, while describing the third concept. "Assessment of the future world of work in the context of the silver economy is more likely, given that states and businesses have been affected by it for more than 10 years," Mr. Onischenko said. According to the expert, many countries, including the Russian Federation, have extensive experience in this area. At the same time, Onischenko noted that Russia has been paying insufficient legislative attention to the issues of older people employment. "There is no unified goal-setting system regarding employment of older generations in the planned strategies, including state-funded programs of the Russian Federation. No prospective statements of labor resources are being developed in the demographic or professional contexts," the expert said.

Mr. Onischenko believes that the existing problems of older generations employment will be resolved within the framework of several strategic planning documents of the Russian Federation, including the Strategy of Actions in the Interests of Senior Citizens in the Russian Federation until 2025.

Photo: from open sources