Professional Development Mostly Limited to Intellectuals
In Russia, access to professional development is determined by one's
occupation, as well as job position, company size, and characteristics of the
local labour market. Skilled personnel in non-physical jobs and public sector
employees are more likely to pursue professional development, while low-skilled
employees in private firms are effectively excluded from any such opportunity,
according to Vasiliy Anikin, Assistant Professor of the HSE Department of
In advanced post-industrial
countries, professional development is an integral part of any occupation.
People engage in lifelong learning, gaining new knowledge and skills to support
career advancement and higher pay – at least according to the theory of post-industrial
society summarizing the trends observed in developed countries over the past 30
to 40 years.
In contrast, 'prolonged
transition' countries such as Russia, which struggle with a transition from
late-stage industrialization to a post-industrial model of socio-economic
development, have yet to integrate professional development in their production
processes. However, Anikin found that Russian companies' investment in human
capital can respond flexibly to the structure of jobs in the national economy
and the pay ranges within occupational groups. He also examined the role of
other factors affecting access to professional development in Russia.
Anikin summarized his findings
in a paper entitled ‘Professional development as a characteristic in a
late-industrial economy: evidence from Russia', which was presented at a joint
seminar of HSE's Laboratory for Labour Market Studies (LLMS) and the Centre for
Labour Market Studies (CLMS).
He used 2012 data from the Russia
Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) to build a multi-level
regression model and analyzed data on 7,500 Russians employed in 340
occupations. Anikin also examined the importance of factors such as gender,
age, type of settlement, workplace characteristics, possession of skills
relevant to a knowledge-based economy – such as computer skills
and foreign language proficiency – and a subjective assessment of one's
health and occupational qualification.
Professional Status Affects Training
Anikin found that access to professional
development in Russia depends on the job structure, and for low- to mid-level
employee categories (i.e., from unskilled labourers to office workers) the
likelihood of continuing training is close to zero.
As senior- and mid-level
professionals (and their assistants), the chances of accessing professional
development vary widely from nearly zero to 20%. According to Anikin, ‘it is a
major structural barrier to modernization, as access to professional
development opportunities in advanced post-industrial countries is more universal
and generally greater than in Russia’.
Anikin did not find any direct
impact of socio-demographic characteristics, such as gender, age and type of
settlement, but these characteristics appear to be important in the context of aggregate
occupational groups recently emerging in Russia and influencing people's
lifetime opportunities and workplace prospects.
Anikin also found that
employees who use computers as part of their job and those with a positive
outlook on professional development opportunities available to them have higher
chances of accessing continuing training.
Using a regression model,
Anikin found a hidden positive effect of overtime – i.e., working more than eight
hours a day – in that it increases the likelihood of accessing professional
development courses, including those paid by the employer. This likelihood is
higher in the public sector, which is consistent with findings from earlier
wage arrears undermine both employers and employees' investment in human
capital, which emphasizes the need for the government and labour unions to
address the problem of workplace exploitation increasingly observed across all
types of employers, and thus ensure Russia’s effective transition to a post-industrial
June 11, 2015