President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ms Golodets, we recently met with the winners of the WorldSkills 2017 Competition. I would like to know about your plans to prepare for the next vocational skills competition, which will be held in Kazan. We know that Kazan has won the right to host the next WorldSkills competition.
However, I would like to begin with a different issue. As I can see from these documents, the number of children who have moved from orphanages to foster or adoptive families has increased considerably. Is this really true? What is happening in reality?
Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets: Mr President, the current adoption rate is really impressive. We started working on this seriously in 2012, following your instructions, when we had 119,000 names of children available for adoption in the database. Since then, the number has decreased to 51,594. It is gratifying that civil society has started helping us with adoption. Public attitude towards adoption has changed. We see that foster and adoptive families wholeheartedly support the mechanisms of assistance that have been created under Government resolutions. Families are helping each other take on the difficult issue of bringing on children who have been left without parental care. This is why the number of children in need has decreased.
Vladimir Putin: Are you referring to children in orphanages?
Olga Golodets: Yes, I am. We have also seriously amended the operation of and regulations for orphanages. Not long ago, only a few orphanages complied with the new standards under which children did not live in groups but in a kind of family, where they were taught the skills necessary for living in a family. These children attend neighbourhood schools and hobby groups where they associate with other children. This helps in placing them with foster or adoptive families. The number of these kinds of orphanages is increasing, yet our priority is to continue to reduce the number of orphans in Russia.
Vladimir Putin: Good. This is a positive process and a good trend. However, you need to pay more attention to the foster and adoptive families, support and help them. We should coordinate this with the regions.
Olga Golodets: We will do this.
Vladimir Putin: And now let’s talk about WorldSkills.
Olga Golodets: About WorldSkills. Thank you very much for paying so much attention to it. To be honest, we were unsure that we would see the successful results we have.
We joined WorldSkills in 2012. If you remember, Russia first took part in the 2013 competition and received an “honorary” 41st place. Our victory at the competition this year is an amazing achievement. Everyone understands that it is important not to relax. Rather than simply achieve victories, this competition aims to improve the quality of professional education in the country. And, just as important, the leaders of Russia’s regions and everyone involved in the vocational training system share this opinion today.
Indeed, we won the right to host the 2019 competition in Kazan in a difficult bid process. We competed against Paris and Charleroi, Belgium, and Kazan won the bid. This is amazing. And now, we must be very well prepared for it.
Today, they are building a large exhibition centre in Kazan. This exhibition centre will become the main venue for the competition. After it, the centre will be used to hold major economic exhibitions. This will be a very serious venue featuring a convention hall and 169,000 square metres of exhibition space. Russia and Tatarstan need this modern facility today.
Some 2,000 volunteers will work in Kazan. Centres for training WorldSkills volunteers are already being organised. We want to train our young people under the WorldSkills system, so they can display genuine hospitality at the highest level.
And now the most important thing, that is, training teams and students. We use so-called WorldSkills ambassadors to ensure high training standards for everyone. These are people who have made significant progress and now they are helping the young people.
Vladimir Putin: Significant progress in their own fields and careers.
Olga Golodets: In their fields and careers. For example, Arkady Novikov supervises the restaurant business and cooking skills. He attends our national championships and offers advice to young participants. And this direct connection is important.
It is important that our teams are directly supported by national companies because we should not forget that the WorldSkills system also aims to promote Russian technologies on the global market. On the whole, this is a very serious way to promote Russian presence on the global market. We are supported by companies like Rosatom, Rostec and Russian Railways. We see this support as an effort, including by our companies, to enter global markets. This support helps us train teams to the highest standards. And I hope that our young people will perform just as well at the upcoming competition.
Vladimir Putin: Don’t forget about job placement for our current champions.
Olga Golodets: Yes.