Staunton, September 21 – A major reason why Russia has one of the highest rates of internal migration in the world is the lack of serious planning about how its workforce should be developed and used, Dmitry Cherneyko, head of St. Petersburg’s committee on labor and employment, says.
The absence of planning means, he says, that “when the largest corporations invest money in Leningrad oblast, they bring in their work force from central Russia, and local people [instead of getting jobs at the new facilities] go to work in Sakha, Vladivostok and Moscow” (newdaynews.ru/moscow/702966.html).
The government should be involved at all stages of the location of industry and of educational facilities that prepare workers for available jobs. Otherwise, this wasteful and even counter-productive trend, one that bears similarities with some in Soviet times, will only continue and grow worse.
Cherneyko’s comments came at a meeting in Moscow at which others complained about the lack of planning and especially long-term planning on workforce issues. Kirill Shevchenko, an advisor to the Moscow office of the International Migration Organization, agreed that Russia is failing to look far enough into the future and make appropriate plans.
As a result, he suggests, Russia is driven by events rather than being in charge of them. Among the things that means in the short and medium term is that the country is going to have to rely on ever more immigrant workers because its pattern of industrial development requires more people that Russia is producing on its own.
Most of these will be low-skilled, but Moscow must try to boost the skill level of those it hopes to attract, Natalya Pochinok of Russia’s State Social University, says. Otherwise the low skill level of the increasingly large immigrant population will have the effect of holding the country back, something that could be changed if longer-term plans are made.