The defense industry is experiencing staff shortages

The defense industry is experiencing staff shortages
The defense industry is experiencing staff shortages
The defense industry is experiencing staff shortages

Russian industrial companies, both private and public, invest heavily in research and development and production modernization. This is taking place within the framework of the country's general movement towards building an innovative economy and moving away from the raw material model. One of the main obstacles on this path is the lack of qualified personnel.

20 years ago, lawyers and economists were considered the most promising professions, a decade later - marketers and programmers, today everyone wants to become IT specialists and startups. Few people dream of becoming a milling machine operator, locksmith or turner. It is these specialties that are most in demand today in the military-industrial complex. We also need highly qualified design engineers, process engineers. The industry is actively automating, which causes the need for more programmers. A special case is the engine building industry. There are very high requirements for the professional level of specialists, a long period of training. It is almost impossible to find and attract ready-made specialists with practical experience in the design of gas turbine engines. Therefore, enterprises have to search for specialists sometimes abroad or to grow them from the student's bench. The shortage of personnel in the defense industry is acute. In many respects, it is caused by the fact that in the 1990s, due to a deep crisis in this area, young people did not go to enterprises, hence the aging of personnel, plus a demographic hole that formed at the same time: the birth rate after the collapse of the Soviet Union was very low. The situation is gradually changing, and schoolchildren go to study in specialties that are in demand in the defense industry.

So, at KAMAZ the share of employees under the age of 35 is more than 30% today. In the Kalashnikov concern, the average age in 2013 was 47 years, and already at the beginning of 2015 - 44 years. At the beginning of this year, the share of UEC employees under 35 was 25.6%. Ruselectronics plans to rejuvenate the team up to 10% per year of the total number of the company's personnel (38 thousand people), that is, it will recruit about 4 thousand young specialists every year. In the Technodinamika holding, the share of specialists aged 18-25 is 19%, while in 2011 it did not exceed 14%.

Motivates young people with the possibility of self-realization, using the knowledge gained in practice in large projects at serious industrial enterprises. However, for those who follow pragmatic logic, other arguments work. Enterprises are doing a lot in the social sphere: they implement programs to compensate for the costs of paying for kindergarten, organize children's health camps, spa treatment and recreation for employees. Rostec is launching a large-scale program to provide its employees with housing. Companies that are part of Rostec will be able to allocate about 2 billion rubles to improve the living conditions of their employees. before the end of this year. Qualified specialists of the most demanded professions, in which there is a shortage of personnel, will become participants in the corporate program.

But there is another problem: according to Kommersant's interlocutors, the practical knowledge and skills taught in universities today lag significantly behind the requirements of advanced enterprises using modern IT.

Companies that are part of Rostec will be able to allocate about 2 billion rubles to improve the living conditions of their employees. by the end of this year

The Russian education system has a certain inertia, which prevents specialists from entering the labor market with the necessary modern technologies on time. Educational quality control methods operate according to rapidly outdated requirements. While educational institutions are introducing, adapting and starting to use new standards, they are already beginning to lag behind the achievements of modern information technologies that appear on the market. As a result, according to Ivan Zasursky, Head of the Department of New Media and Communication Theory of the Faculty of Journalism of Moscow State University, now very many positions remain unfilled because it is not possible to find the right specialists. This is typical for any high-tech industry, which, of course, is the defense industry.

To solve this problem, Rostec is actively cooperating with universities. At the moment, the corporation has concluded cooperation agreements with more than 200 universities, and basic departments are being created to train specialists. In addition, Rostec is working on the issue of combining the budgets of enterprises for educational purposes and creating a single training center - a corporate university, where it will be possible to introduce the world's leading practices. Cooperating with universities, other industrial enterprises are also solving the problem of training. At the same time, the staff deficit remains.

Experts note that it is necessary to strengthen ties between universities and employers. For example, according to Ivan Zasursky, the Education in Demand project assumes that employers will formulate a request for solving urgent problems of their business, social and practical problems in the form of topics for holding competitions for academic and graduate works. In the next academic year, starting in September, more than ten universities will take part in the pilot, voluntary phase of the project. The work of graduates will be published, and their students will be able to build a career for themselves with the help of academic work - at least in the form of practice or internship, budgetary places in graduate school or a grant for continuing research. “The development of electronic systems for students, including for the publication of scientific papers, will undoubtedly move the process for the better,” summarizes Anton Merkurov, an expert at the Institute for State Ideologies.

Close to failure

A separate category of employees that the defense industry really needs is information technology specialists in a variety of areas. Today it is impossible to produce modern industrial products without intensive implementation of IT in the development and production processes. Therefore, achieving the goal of new industrialization is impossible without digitalizing the engineering, manufacturing, technological and financial and economic activities of high-tech enterprises. “Unfortunately, the management of industrial enterprises treats IT not as a strategic task of changing the technological order and transition to a new format of activity, but as a secondary factor of production,” notes Vladimir Rubanov, a member of the public council under the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation. According to him, top managers have little understanding of the role, place and capabilities of IT, as well as the requirements for the appropriate reorganization of the enterprise and training of personnel during their implementation. This requires the inclusion of the competence of the customer of information technology and production systems in the educational standard for management personnel.

This is a critical task as industrial enterprises now often run on legacy systems, which increases the risk of being attacked by hackers. In the 21st century, the tasks of the defense industry have largely shifted to the area of ​​cyber security. “To improve the defense capability, including the personnel security of the country, defense industry enterprises must not only form an order, but also anticipate it for the future. Today, a great emphasis in this area is on mechanical engineering (engines, aircraft, special equipment), recent conflicts have shown that the war of the future is primarily cyber security,”says Anton Merkurov. In this sphere, he said, both the protection of strategic objects and offensive functions fall. If earlier we needed soldiers on the battlefield, then in the near future they will fight without leaving the computer. And the task of the state in this area is to provide attractive jobs and formulate tasks aimed at developing its own products for protection.

Ideally, every automated control system (ACS) for material and human resources should already have built-in cybersecurity tools. Of course, outdated solutions do not have them. At the same time, the damage from improper operation of such systems, from the consequences of their hacking, can be enormous. For example, such automated control systems, which in the 21st century are increasingly becoming the target of cyber terrorists, are used at critical facilities: transport hubs, nuclear power plants, thermal power plants, hydroelectric power plants, large industrial enterprises, etc.

One of the reasons for the shortage of high-quality IT specialists in production is the legacy of a recruiting system focused on several universities that have corresponding base departments.

In most cases, such ACS are built on foreign-made software and hardware, which, according to experts, firstly, is not trusted, and secondly, it has multiple vulnerabilities. At the entire life stage of an automated control system - from design to operation - the personnel involved in the processes, due to their low competence and lack of special knowledge, can make significant mistakes, which negatively affects the security of such systems. This situation is largely due to the lack of systematic training.

This problem concerns not only defense industry enterprises, but also other backbone sectors of the Russian economy, for example, oil and gas and electric power. Given the special nature of the knowledge and skills obtained during training, associated with a dual option for their application, this area of ​​educational activity should have a special level of quality control, they say in Rostec. This is not about improving federal quality control of education in the field of information security, but about creating an additional control system based on certification of the qualification level of graduates of educational institutions. To do this, it is necessary to create a set of certification requirements, define a set of trusted independent certification centers and provide everyone with an opportunity to pass tests and confirm the appropriate certification level. The development of certification programs should be based on the created professional standards in the field of information security.

In addition, no one doubts that it is imperative to introduce modern educational technologies into the field of IT training in Russia. There is also an opinion that it is necessary to use two types of educational programs at each level of education: one - for targeted training of trainees graduated to public sector enterprises (national certification system), the other - for trainees who have linked their careers with commercial enterprises (international certification system) … You also need to build a well-thought-out cooperation between education, science and industry, which should form an order for personnel training.

Unlike many other areas of information security, in the field of cyber security of process control systems of critical facilities for high-quality training of personnel, large investments are required in the creation of modern educational and laboratory bases and test and diagnostic laboratories. This state of affairs is associated with the high cost of foreign-made ACS systems (Siemens, ABB, Schneider Electric, etc.), as well as the fact that training of specialists requires work not only with a computer system, but also with a complex hierarchical system of controllers, and both at the level of software development and at the hardware level.

That is, the competencies of the IT professional staff in Russia are concentrated on solving problems of localization and adaptation of imported solutions, software products and electronic equipment, programming skills and system integration. However, as Vladimir Rubanov emphasizes, today the global vector of IT development is associated with the skills of information management, conceptual and logical modeling and architectural design of complex information systems. Expectations of breakthroughs in the IT field by concentrating efforts only on the programming industry seem unjustified, since success in the IT field is associated with knowledge of the subject areas of their application, the ability to set and formalize programming tasks. This requires a shift in educational programs from technical programming skills to modeling skills and formalization of the description of activities in the subject areas of IT application.

As they say in Rostec, given the existing problems with state financing of budgetary sectors, it is possible to come to the only optimal solution at the moment, associated with the formation of a contingent of students on a budgetary basis solely on the basis of a state order with the obligatory distribution of graduates to state institutions. The training of specialists for non-governmental organizations should be carried out on a paid basis or in the presence of compensation for training costs, if a graduate who has completed training on a budgetary basis, for one reason or another, is forced to find a job in a non-governmental organization.

“The approaches to organizing scientific and educational ecosystems in the case of the civil sector and the defense industry are really different. Both there and there systems of open publication and access to research will play a huge role, but in the case of the defense industry, the realization of the potential of these systems rests on the levels of access. The need to close information for "external" specialists is understandable, not only on the basis of country affiliation, but generally outside the framework of the defense industry or specific concerns. However, the very principle of open information exchange and competitive employment will eventually be implemented both there and there. And educational programs should be tied, in my opinion, to the specific needs of each sector of the industry,”comments Ivan Zasursky.

Mind exchange

Another reason for the huge shortage of high-quality IT specialists in production is the legacy of the recruiting system, focused on several universities, which have corresponding basic departments for training specialists. “You cannot get to work, for example, at TsAGI, if you did not study where they recruit specialists. Therefore, recruitment is limited to universities where there is such an opportunity, and to those students who, entering the university, already knew where they want to work. People from other universities, even if they want to work, have no chance of getting a job in the military-industrial sector, because there is no recruiting system that would allow hiring specialists that companies really need,”explains Ivan Zasursky.According to the expert, it is necessary to build a recruiting system in a new way, to open the entrances to a career in the defense industry and industry at new levels. In a situation of economic crisis, a career in the military-industrial complex can be an interesting offer for young people, especially when combined with a support program in terms of living conditions. Unfortunately, so far, according to Anton Merkurov, “in the short term, IT education in Russia is primarily a ticket to Europe or Silicon Valley. Technological universities still have a strong academic background, which still makes Russian specialists in demand abroad."

But, as mentioned above, good specialists do not always leave only for material reasons - an important role is played by the possibility of self-realization, the chance to participate in an interesting scientific project in cooperation with experts from whom you can learn a lot. Today, one of the main directions for improving personnel training, in particular, in the field of information security, is the creation of a modern laboratory base on the basis of leading educational institutions, which would allow, firstly, to gain in-depth knowledge in this area, and secondly, to carry out high-quality training. personnel of the most diverse profile: designers, operators and specialists, including in the field of cyber security of automated control systems. Among the possible ways, due to initial state funding, on the basis of leading universities, collective centers of breakthrough solutions in the field of IT (for example, cybersecurity) can be created, which, in terms of material and technical equipment, would be at the forefront of the world and in the future, due to the implementation of research and development and R&D, could ensure its subsequent funding and development.

In addition, it is necessary to make wider use of the opportunities of network learning, noted in the new law "On Education", which will allow concentrating the efforts of professionals from various fields (technical, financial and economic, linguistic, etc.) in a number of areas of training in the IT field to achieve maximum effect according to the level of knowledge and skills.

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