Galina Akhmerova: ‘Young people make ships from improvised means, what will happen if we give them machines?’

Career guidance expert — about engineering classes and a comprehensive approach to building Russia's technological independence

Galina Akhmerova: ‘Young people make ships from improvised means, what will happen if we give them machines?’
Photo: Roman Khasaev/

This autumn, almost a hundred schools in Russia, on behalf of the president of the country, are opening the first engineering classes of ship and aircraft construction profiles. Thus, the training of qualified personnel begins from the school bench, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation notes. Tatarstan, where engineering classes, including aviation and shipbuilding, appeared already a long time ago, is also interested in the federal initiative and scaling up its experience. However, specialised classes alone are not enough to educate professionals, says Galina Akhmerova, the creator of the mobile application for career guidance of teenagers Round. In the author's column, the expert discusses the need for an integrated approach to solving the personnel problem.

First engineering classes of ship and aircraft building profiles

The press service of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation says: “On Day of Knowledge, the country's first engineering classes of ship and aircraft construction profiles are opening their doors. At the instruction of the president, 96 schools were selected in 23 regions of the country, in which the necessary repairs were carried out, modern equipment was purchased: machine tools, 3D printers, quadrocopters, oscilloscopes — the children will have the opportunity not only to master theory, but also to hone the acquired knowledge in practice.”

I have already written about which specialists will be in demand in the labour market in the near future. I noted that the situation in the country is such that in the near future professionals in the industries that will build the technological independence of the country will be needed. This news about innovations in schools just confirms the thoughts stated in the article.

Photo: Maksim Platonov/

However, I would like to note that, in my opinion, there are very few specialised classes alone. To achieve the same goal of increasing the number of engineers, it is necessary to approach the issue comprehensively.

  1. Popularisation of the industry among schoolchildren — so that they understand what these areas are and what professions are represented in them.
  2. Practice-oriented approach that involves meetings with experts in the field to get to know those who already work and can share their experience.
  3. Immersion in the environment and contact with the profession. The interest of enterprises themselves is important here, so that it is possible to organise excursions, after that — internships. To show teenagers not just one office, but to demonstrate the company from several points of view and tell about the ship and aircraft building profile.

Training should be comprehensive

Only an integrated approach, which is organised step by step, gives the opportunity to grow specialists from school. It is not enough to make only a profile direction. I myself studied in a physics and mathematics class, was an Olympiad student, a lot of time and effort was spent on me. However, I did not enter the profession, because I imagined it in a completely different way, many people face in life precisely with the fact that expectations and reality diverge.

As our experience in the Round app proves, young people are interested in a variety of directions. More than 500 challenges (contests) continue to be filled with works.

For example, teenagers also have an interest in the field of shipbuilding. In the Round application, we have already launched the “Ship Project” competition together with the Zelenodolsk Design Bureau. Our team went to them, filmed joint content with engineers and prepared a competition.

Photo: Maksim Platonov/

We offered the students to make their own design from any improvised materials or repeat the video tutorial from the Zelenodolsk Design Bureau (ZPKB). 340 projects from teenagers were published in the application, which means that so many ships were launched and tested. This allows us to conclude that even from improvised materials, young people want to try to make ships and show their skills.

And what will happen if we give them the opportunity to test machines, 3D printers, quadrocopters, oscilloscopes and other equipment, bring them to enterprises and let them touch the field itself?

Everyone is talented, and not in one field, they just need to try different directions and find their own. And we, caring adults who work in the field of career guidance, should work to ensure that training is comprehensive and bears fruit in the future.

Galina Akhmerova

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The author's opinion may not coincide with the position of the editorial board of Realnoe Vremya.