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Today at the Mebel 2021 international exhibition within the RusMebel 2021 Forum, the Russian meeting of Sectoral Qualification Assessment Centres for the Furniture and Wood Processing Industry under the auspices of the National Council for Professional Qualifications under the President of the Russian Federation took place.

The event, organised by the Association of Furniture and Woodworking Enterprises of Russia and EXPOCENTRE AO, was held via videoconferencing of a meeting of the Forestry Expert Advisory Council with representatives of the executive and legislative authorities, heads of educational institutions and the business community.

The first part of the meeting was dedicated to the coordination of educational institutions in the forestry sector.

Tatiana Gigel, Chairman of the Forestry Expert Advisory Council of the Federation Council Committee on Agrarian and Food Policy and Environmental Management, moderated the meeting and stressed its importance. The Federation Council pays great attention to the staffing problem in the timber industry complex and holds various events with the participation of representatives of scientific institutions and business leaders. At the meeting we will discuss in detail the shortage of workers in the furniture industry", the moderator said.

According to Tatiana Gigel, today the industry needs 16,000 specialists, while about 10,000 graduate. At the same time, not all young specialists, having graduated from the educational institution, stay to work in the industry. Many are looking for another job due to the lack of social packages, low wages, and the lost prestige of the profession in the timber industry. The Federation Council passed a number of bills to help draw attention to young people, promote the profession and improve the socio-economic situation.

The topic was continued by Vera Khmyrova, Director of the Department of Light Industry and Timber Industry of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade. "The timber industry is actively developing and, of course, there is a need for personnel and new professions. In view of the digital economy, new professions are in demand. And this dictates a new demand for education. The education-industry link must work constantly, as the demand for a profession makes the industry. Some professions are becoming obsolete and new ones need to be launched. Therefore, this meeting in the form of a dialogue is of great importance," stressed the speaker.

Mikhail Klinov, Deputy Head of Rosleskhoz, spoke about the importance of training and retraining. He reminded about the slogan "Personnel solve everything": "The structure of the sector and management bodies is changing, powers are being redistributed between the federal levels of the Russian Federation. And we continue to cooperate with secondary and specialised institutions and with higher education institutions in order to train worthy personnel for the forestry sector".

Timur Irtuganov, Director General of the Association of Furniture and Woodworking Enterprises, made a presentation on the general algorithm of the secondary vocational education system and employment of personnel.

He said that specialised secondary education institutions graduate a large number of students every year who cannot find a job. The average job placement rate of graduates is below average. Currently, there are 180 institutions of specialised secondary education in 41 regions of Russia. Graduation rates are increasing, but the number of people employed is not. Two out of three go to work in their specialty, despite the huge demand and shortage of personnel in the industry. The personnel problem must be solved, stressed Timur Irtuganov, noting at the same time the great role of Woodworking Skills Championships, which give enterprises an opportunity to test their staff at the level of the industry's leading specialists.

Sergey Vostrikov, Director of the Moscow Educational Complex of Urban Development "Stolitsa", shared his experience in training specialists. "In order to train personnel, the Department of Education and Science of Moscow has created an educational and production association by production affiliation, the management body of which is the Public-Professional Council. It consists of the heads of professional organisations, representatives of specialist departments and partner enterprises. Over the past three years, we have graduated 650 specialists in four professions in the furniture production and woodworking industry," said the speaker.

He pointed to three indicators in the quality of specialist training: employability, participation in Woodworking Skills championships and an independent assessment of pupils' skills in the form of a state final exam. "One of the striking projects is the implementation of the Preschool Space without Borders project, which provides a number of opportunities: in-house production, the organisation of production and training practices and the placement of apprentices in jobs.

In the second part of the meeting, representatives from Qualifications Assessment Centres and industry spoke about independent qualifications as a form of training quality assessment.

The meeting took place in offline and online format.

Watch the video broadcast:  

Press Service, EXPOCENTRE AO