|Cooperation with the World of Work in Technical and Vocational Education - A. The Policy Level, Studies from Hungary, Romania and Sweden - B. The Institution Level, a Study from the Russian Federation (UNEVOC, 1998, 92 p.)|
|The Institution Level: The Russian Federation|
Difficulties of small companies in personnel retraining may be resolved with the assistance of the Government and those big companies for whom they supply their production. Matters of State assistance for small businesses have recently been discussed at a meeting in the Kremlin.
A main barrier for high-quality staffing of educational establishments are not only financial problems, but also the underestimation of the role of continuous personnel training by some managers.
The introduction of State standards of vocational training, when applied to main training programmes, may be of help for improving the quality of the curricula for each subject for the practical training to meet the requirements of the socio-economic needs and scientific and technological innovations.
A lack of a long-term perspective and development concept has an adverse effect on industrial investment. Instability and inflation in Russia destroy not only industry, but all branches of economy in general.
Teachers with out-dated views who cannot meet present-day requirements are another serious barrier in the cooperation of educational institutions and enterprises. Requirements of increase in personnel training at some enterprises repulse technical and vocational trainers as they reluctantly accept additional responsibilities.
In addition to what was said at the beginning of this chapter, it may be noted that it is not uncommon that very small enterprises send their personnel, when required for training, to other enterprises or educational institutions, for accelerated training and to other kinds of training.
Trade unions who consider workers training an important matter always consider it when concluding contracts with employers and when presenting their demands. The personnel of primary vocational establishments mostly join the trade unions of industry branches as enterprise workers do.
When they exchange technical and vocational trainers for the personnel of enterprises, both sides usually observe a number of requirements such as professional suitability, good prospects of working trainers and enterprise workers, etc. It is important to set aims of such exchanges, i.e. the strengthening of practical training of teachers and theoretical training of workers. It is not advisable to exchange persons who are professionally incompetent.
Sometimes a renewal of equipment and instruments becomes an unresolvable problem, especially in the case of new professions and technologies. On the other side, due to the competition and related industrial secrets they are not included in curricula which leave gaps in the preparation of trainers. A better funding of training and establishing a procedure of admission to enterprises secrets between enterprises and training establishments may resolve these problems.
In order to make employers confident about the potential and capabilities of technical and vocational trainers, it is necessary above all to improve the quality of their education as well as the potential and image of the educational establishments where they are trained. In Russia educational standards are established for this purpose as well as licensing, attesting, and state accreditation of educational institutions of all levels, and state attesting of graduates from all state educational institutions.
In case of an insufficient number of working places for personnel training it is possible to increase their number depending on the circumstances given, or to extend the duration of training, or to subcontract a part of the students to other similar enterprises.
The preparing of technical and vocational trainers should be based on a full understanding of the factual situation on the labour market, the laws of its fluctuations, perspectives of its development, and prognostication of its evaluation. Only in this case the knowledge, conditions and skills for work in the production sphere will be adequate to the requirements of the labour market.
It is important that the fundamental academic education of trainers is closely linked with their applied practical knowledge and skills. Training programmes should be periodically revised in order to achieve a higher degree of future-orientation.
Exchanges between teachers and enterprise workers should be preceded by a preliminary preparation. In addition to other matters it should include an analysis of training programmes and their correspondence to the requirements of the labour market and the industrial development, as well as of the possibilities to implement such programmes. So all programmes the teachers and enterprise workers will be working with during the exchange should be thoroughly studied. Exchanges between technical and vocational teachers will be even more successful if they can clearly envisage their future careers, have confidence in their future and are able to continue their education in a university or post-graduate school if it is necessary.
There is no prejudice towards women in Russia. They constitute the majority among secondary school teachers, medical doctors, and workers in cultural and scientific areas. As to the exchange of teachers and enterprise workers, there will be other selection criteria such as professional competence, specific character of production, etc.
At present in practically all vocational schools there exist business blocks whose training material provides the graduates with certain entrepreneur skills and allows to deal with the matter of school-enterprise exchanges at the level of preparation.
There will be no problem of excessive population growth in Russia neither at present nor in the future. Unfortunately, there is an obvious tendency of a decrease in the countrys population.
It is self-evident that the character and content of the training is preconditioned by an appropriate character and content of a specialist or a worker of a certain level of qualification. As a result of additional work experience and qualification upgrading the persons level of qualification and professional competence will grow, a development which may cause the danger that he/she might leave the enterprise. This fact makes it crucial for the employer to develop a system of measures in order to discourage these people, primarily highly skilled workers and specialists, from leaving by offering prospects of education or economic interest, career and promotion perspectives, opportunities to receive more training, etc.
Although conditions for personnel may be different at an educational institution and an enterprise, disadvantages may be compensated with various moral, material, and other incentives. The State educational standards stipulate a compulsory minimum content of basic educational programmes of all levels, irrespective of the form of training which ensures a proper quality of instruction.
With regard to exchange of students from rural and urban areas there definitely are difficulties and specific aspects which are hardly resolvable unless regional and municipal authorities get involved. However, experience shows that these problems can be resolved if appropriate educational bodies at federal, regional and local levels provide assistance.
Here, the most common problems are the lack of funds, insufficient per diem allowances (travel, accommodation, etc.) and personal reasons (inability to leave home, business, etc.)
According to the State educational standard, the industrial experience is a constituent part of the content and is subject not only to a current but also to a final control of the training quality.
The status of trainees and students at enterprises is determined by appropriate regulations on probation work at enterprises which are stipulating the probation content and procedure, educational establishment and enterprise probation supervisors, safety measures, etc.