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When talking with the younger generation, one can single out the following aspects that are now of interest to young people in Russia: The issue of self-realization of the youth in modern conditions and the generation gap as a factor in the growth of conflicts in modern Russian society. Trends and demand are constantly changing. One of the defining thoughts in the minds of young people is the relevance of education and the demand for the education received in the near future.

Speaking of the trend in education: Easier to get a job

As the dynamics of recent years show, secondary vocational education[1] is gaining more and more popularity because it is often easier for graduates of such institutions to get a job. Probably the main plus is that secondary vocational education is more likely to provide a job than graduating from higher education, especially in the real sector of the economy. In addition, RANEPA (Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration) monitored[2] and revealed the growing popularity of secondary vocational education among young people. But again, it all depends on the subjects. In many regions, there is a link between educational institutions of secondary vocational education and directly employers. In the real sector of the economy enterprises are interested in hiring qualified specialists at once. Today we have the practice of introducing the elements of dual education, when a student during training passes the theoretical part in an educational institution and the practical part directly at the enterprise; and already following the results of the training, the enterprise decides whether it is ready to hire a specialist immediately.

Practice first, then university

It is important to understand that the areas of preparation of secondary vocational education are not limited only to technical fields – they can also be social areas. Obviously, there is a list of professions where higher education is needed or where employers put forward such a requirement as a prerequisite. However, this is all very subjective. According to the head of the department of practices, marketing and employment of the St. Petersburg State University of Industrial Technology and Design, about 60% of college graduates then go to get higher education.

Perception problem

However, according to the president of the South Russian Club of HR Managers, the mentality of the parents has not changed yet and the majority still wants their children to receive higher education, to work not in working specialties but to be managers or office workers. He emphasizes that the gap between the fact that parents want to give the best to their children and the need for the market to increase the number of specialists with applied skills is becoming more and more obvious. In general, it is now becoming more difficult to pass the Unified State Exam (this exam serves as both the final exam from school and the entrance exam to universities), and many schoolchildren do not go in this direction, choosing college as a simpler model of building education. This is a long-term trend: The choice in favor of colleges over universities will gain momentum over the next 5-10 years.

Development of social support

One example of youth-oriented projects is the “Youth Potential of the Country”. The organization conducts its activities through the implementation of law enforcement work and the implementation of a number of socially significant state-oriented initiatives. Their goals are to assist in the self-determination of Russian youth, their personal and professional development, successful socialization, the development of patriotism and civil society. For example, one of the activities of the organization is participation in the creation of a program for the regions for the social support of disabled children. It is important to note that social support measures mean not only cash payments but primarily the provision of social services and other benefits. Currently, the adoption of regional measures of social support in accordance with the current legislation remains entirely at the discretion of the regions. In this regard, a situation has developed in which regional measures of social support for disabled children are very strongly differentiated depending on the subject of residence of the disabled child.

In this regard, a situation has developed in which regional measures of social support for disabled children are very strongly differentiated depending on the subject of residence of the disabled child.

In a number of constituent entities, there are very comprehensive regional support measures, in some absolutely humiliating, and in a number of regions there are no social support measures at the constituent level at all. Undoubtedly, children are directly affected by the current situation. After all, a disabled child does not cease to be disabled depending on the region of residence, (s)he has the same requests for special conditions and support measures, but why is (s)he less protected in one subject than in another in terms of regional support? As an option for solving this situation, the organization took the initiative to develop uniform mandatory standards for minimum measures of social support for children with disabilities. At the moment, it has been decided to form a working group to prepare the draft standards.

The importance of youth-oriented projects

Special attention should also be paid to additional education for children and adolescents. In recent years the interest of children in additional forms of education has decreased. Currently, new programs are being initiated to develop youth involvement. For example, within the framework of the “Open Dialogue” project, several meetings have already been held with prominent political figures which is a rewarding experience for both sides. Another project was launched with colleagues from the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation – the “EnergyTalks” project to conduct a series of speeches by young specialists of the electric power industry in front of students. The goal of the project is to create a space for networking, exchange of knowledge, opinions and experience, search for new ideas and solutions. For students this is, an opportunity to get acquainted with the real work experience of young specialists, to model their career strategy, and to understand from real cases what the energy sector of Russia is. Some of them will be held online and all interested students will be able to join regardless of their university and region. It is important that students have the opportunity to communicate directly with famous state representatives, which not only gives them additional knowledge about what is not taught at the university, but also it motivates them to professional self-realization.

After all, the main goal remains the opportunity to build an open dialogue between specialists and young people, to receive feedback and exchange ideas about the future of the country.

In conclusion, it is worth saying that despite the serious problems of involving and developing youth activity, thanks to emerging youth projects and the creation of a suitable infrastructure, as a result, the social involvement and activity of young people increases. It is very important that the initiatives and organizations of such projects are led by the most interested and young representatives, since through contact with them mutual understanding and close communication takes place. After all, the main goal remains the opportunity to build an open dialogue between specialists and young people, to receive feedback and exchange ideas about the future of the country.

Daria Suraeva
Daria Suareva durchlief Bildungssysteme mehrerer Länder, bevor sie in Salzburg PPÖ zu studieren begann. Ihre Interessen liegen im Einfluss der Jugend auf die drängendsten Probleme der modernen Welt.

    [1] Secondary vocational education – aimed at training skilled workers, employees and middle-level specialists. It can be obtained after 9th grades of basic or 10-11th grades of secondary general compulsory education. Education in programs of secondary vocational education is carried out by colleges, technical schools, other educational institutions and organizations.

    [2] The Center of Applied Economic Research RANEPA (Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration) has published the monitoring “Youth Employment. Choice in favour of open source software”. The results of the study indicate the growth in the popularity of secondary specialized education among young people in recent years.

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