The President learned about the work of the centre, which offers programmes in higher education, specialised secondary education and further vocational education, as well as retraining schemes. In addition, the centre is home to branch campuses of three higher education institutions and the city’s employment centre.
During his visit, Dmitry Medvedev attended the presentation of business projects under the programme to promote self-employment. Through this programme, people get the advice and consultations they need and prepare business plans for their future work as entrepreneurs. Once the business plan is approved by a committee, the candidate gets a government grant to start up his or her own businesses.
During the meeting with employment service staff, Dmitry Medvedev noted that the situation on Russia’s labour market is generally stabilising, but it still requires constant monitoring. The President indicated the need to more actively implement programmes to promote self-employment and assist those who have lost their jobs in starting up their own businesses. In addition, it is imperative to increase people’s awareness of the employment programmes currently in place.
Particular attention was given to issues of retraining and education in professions that are in great demand on the labour market.
Opening remarks at meeting with retraining centres and employment services staff
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues,
I am glad to welcome you here in Krasnoznamensk, where we have gathered to discuss an issue that you deal with professionally – namely, the state of unemployment and the labour market.
Over the last several days, for more than a week now, I have been focusing on this issue and purposefully paying it increased attention. You know the reasons for this better than anybody in our country. In spite of the fact that we currently have a fairly stable situation, the overall environment of the labour market is nevertheless complicated, and we must monitor it, taking all the measures we can in order for people who have lost jobs to find new ones under whatever circumstances.
A few days ago in Moscow, I had a meeting with citizens who have found themselves unemployed; yesterday, I met with cabinet members and officials from pertinent ministries and agencies – some of these colleagues are present here – and I also have met with trade unions and employer associations that are really important for growth in jobs offer.
Today, I have come here, to the retraining centre, and saw project presentations vying for government subsidies. It’s all quite interesting. No doubt, for this occasion people came well prepared and I guess they were carefully selected candidates for launching private enterprises, but it was impressive anyway. Most importantly, it was nice to see people talk about how they view their own business, how they calculate potential costs, what they will be able to acquire using the grant funding, how much of their own money they will have to add, and what the returns will be. This is a very serious undertaking indeed.
We should probably talk about the overall best ways to help people, because represented among you are professionals dealing with employment issues, giving this matter their utmost professional attention.
Based on the data I have available, our nation has over two thousand offices of state employment services where forty one thousand people work, and all those working for employment services are not just professionals, these are people whose duty is, first and foremost, to help resolve what may be the most difficult problem in the life of any individual who has lost a job. The work you are doing is certainly very difficult and requires emotional mobilisation, because it is a line of work in which it’s impossible to be indifferent. In this regard, as far as I understand, everyone here is also a good psychologist, because it is not easy to understand a person’s disposition in a five to ten minutes interview, to discover what he or she is capable of – whether this person might start a private business, for example, or lacks proper background for that. You therefore accept a great deal of responsibility.
I would also like to note the role played by retraining centres as they contribute to our labour force’s skills, mobility and competitive edge.
Here in Krasnoznamensk, I understand that the Professional Education Centre is even home to three colleges’ branch campuses which certainly creates a special atmosphere and good environment for people coming here to adapt, get adequate training, and ultimately find their calling in life.
In the context of the Government’s efforts I discussed yesterday at a meeting with Cabinet members, it is time to step up from purely anti-crisis measures we have all been pursuing since late 2008 through 2009 and 2010, to systemic work aimed at addressing unemployment problems more intensely. Indeed, the set of instruments employed must evolve from the straightforward measures we applied in the labour market during the height of unemployment such as public works, to more advanced mechanisms for helping our citizens – first and foremost, this should involve offering a tailored package for launching one’s own business.
I also understand that the experience you have accumulated and your practical skills include insider knowledge of the problems within the retraining and employment assistance system. I hope that during our discussion today you will have a chance to openly voice them. Joining us today are ministers and Cabinet officials, who will be able to adjust some regulations, if so required, following your comments since you have a great wealth of experience to share.
I think this is the first meeting of its kind – at least, it is the first one that I chair while I suppose that some of you have met before in one format or another. But exchanging opinions is one of the purposes of our meeting today.
Thus, I invite you all to participate in the discussion.