ManpowerGroup: Russia Must Develop Human Capital to Drive Economic Growth Education Rethink Required to Align Available Skills with Needs of Business
MOSCOW, Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions and World Economic Forum (WEF) strategic partner, has called for improved alignment between the skills taught by Russia's education system and those required by business, in order to unleash the country's human potential and drive economic growth.
Felix Kugel, ManpowerGroup Vice President and Managing Director, Russia and Region, led a session at the WEF Moscow Meeting, titled "Education and Skills: Investing in Talent-based Growth", which explored how Russia can develop its human capital and provide employers with the skills needed to foster productivity and innovation. A recent report by the American Enterprise Institute, "Addressing Russia's Mounting Human Resources Crisis", highlighted that Russia's population has declined in the past 20 years. Compounding this demographic shift is a fundamental mismatch between the skills the country's education system offers and those required by domestic labor markets.
"There is need for increased access to skills-based education, because at present the required skills are not being taught for the available jobs," said Kugel. "Students and employers agree that graduates entering the workforce are unprepared as business has changed and education has failed to evolve with it. This must be rectified in order for Russia to unleash the human potential in its midst and be competitive on the world stage."
ManpowerGroup recommends that, in addition to closer collaboration between business and education to harness available talent, there needs to be a focus on vocational training and bringing honor back to skilled trades. Russia's university population has tripled since 1995, while the number of vocational graduates has remained flat. 
"This is a worrying trend because Russia needs skilled plumbers, electricians and welders rather than a proliferation of liberal arts graduates," added Kugel. "These jobs no longer seem to be valued, and there needs to be a collective mindset shift in how society views skilled trades. It is also no coincidence that the countries most committed to apprenticeships have the lowest rates of youth unemployment."
The "Education and Skills" interactive session was hosted by the World Economic Forum's Network of Global Agenda Councils and addressed dimensions including analyzing recent regional reforms and learning from success stories. The session was facilitated by Yana Peel, Intelligent Squared CEO.
ManpowerGroup™ (NYSE: MAN) is the world leader in innovative workforce solutions that ensure the talent sustainability of the world's workforce for the good of companies, communities, countries, and individuals themselves. Specializing in solutions that help organizations achieve business agility and workforce flexibility, ManpowerGroup leverages its 65 years of world of work expertise to create the work models, design the people practices and access the talent sources its clients need for the future. From staffing, recruitment, workforce consulting, outsourcing and career management to assessment, training and development, ManpowerGroup delivers the talent to drive the innovation and productivity of organizations in a world where talentism is the dominant economic system. Every day, ManpowerGroup connects more than 630,000 people to work and builds their experience and employability through its relationships with 400,000 clients across 80 countries and territories. ManpowerGroup's suite of solutions is offered through ManpowerGroup™ Solutions, Manpower®, Experis™ and Right Management®. ManpowerGroup was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the third consecutive year in 2013, confirming our position as the most trusted brand in the industry. See how ManpowerGroup makes powering the world of work humanly possible at www.manpowergroup.com. Follow ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jeff Joerres on Twitter: Twitter.com/manpowergroupjj