Government to help Russian graduates find jobs

The Kremlin is ready to tackle post-graduate unemployment, as the problem negatively affects the international image of Russian higher education. A set of measures designed by the government even includes guaranteed employment for some graduates.

The Russian government has prepared a package of measures aimed at solving the problem of a high unemployment rate among the graduates of domestic universities, says University World News. The issue was raised by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at a government meeting on higher education on 29 December.

According to the prime minister, up to 25% of graduates of domestic universities are unable to find a job within a year after graduation, and the situation is even worse for graduates of the humanities and social sciences. It happens partly due to the complex state of the national economy but also because of the poor quality of higher education in the country. ''Such figures are unacceptable, and the government should take measures to solve this problem,'' said Medvedev.

Meanwhile, the Russian Student Union says that the real rate of unemployment among graduates of Russian universities higher than the official figures. ''The official state data are mostly based on the data of domestic employment exchanges, which are generally biased and not objective,'' commented the union's spokesperson, adding that the majority of graduates prefer not to register on these exchanges, as they mostly offer low-skilled jobs. The student organisation considers that the real proportion of graduates searching for jobs within a year after graduation may reach 50%.

The majority of graduates prefer not to register on employment exchanges, as they mostly offer low-skilled jobs. Photo: COD Newsroom

To help the graduates, the government is considering restoring the use of practice abolished after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when research interns worked on the basis of fixed-term labour contracts. Special quotas may be set for certain sectors of the Russian economy. Besides, there are plans to retrain graduates who received a degree in a speciality with low job demand. The government is also going to perform regular monitoring of graduate employment level and cut state funding of universities with the lowest results.

While the Kremlin will continue providing preferential educational loans subsidised by the state to keep the interest rate down, it is also considering allocating additional funds to pay off part of these loans for 2019. In addition, some of Russia's largest banks will launch special lending programmes for students. Finally, the government plans to increase the number of state-funded places for graduates in postgraduate schools and extend the period of study there.

By Anna Litvina

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