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09 April 2024, 14:02

Lukashenko urges to address personnel issues in manufacturing 

MINSK, 9 April (BelTA) – It is necessary to resolve personnel issues in the manufacturing sector, in particular, to address the shortage of blue-collar workers and improve the prestige of engineering jobs, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the meeting to discuss the country’s manufacturing sector at the Palace of Independence, BelTA has learned.

“Everything is important - investment, technology, discipline, product quality. But the most important thing is personnel, period. A highly qualified specialist will resolve any problem, an incompetent worker will ruin a business. However, today we have to talk not about the quality of personnel training, but about the overall deficit of workforce, especially the shortage of blue-collar workers,” the head of state noted.

According to him, today the country’s manufacturing industry has 27,000 vacancies, 85% (23,000) of them are blue-collar jobs. The most in demand are mechanics, drivers, machine operators, and welders.

For example, MAZ is understaffed by 13%, and Minsk Motor Plant is experiencing a turnover of blue-color workers: mechanics, turners, installers, electricians, grinders and milling operators. “At the same time, I’m almost sure that their administrative and managerial positions are overstaffed. For example, at MTZ the marketing department alone employs 100 people. This said, the company has a six-month worth of inventory overstock in warehouses,” the head of state noted.

It is necessary to offer financial incentives to workers.

The head of state drew attention to unused reserves. “Perhaps the time has come for the government to think about recruiting those who have left, like retirees. There are many active people among them who are eager to work. We might not be able to recruit 30,000 people, but we will definitely find several thousand patriotic people who will agree to work at our factories. They will be happy to come and work and to be useful as mentors. We need to decide how to get them interested, including financially,” he said.

Much has also been said in recent years about retention of young specialists in this field. “Have we reversed the negative trend on this front? It seems we have not. Moreover, experts warn of growing risks of losing competencies in the field of design and development of new types of products. Why? Because most enterprises have few young specialists in their design and development bureaus,” the president remarked. “And this problem should be dealt with not only by the Industry Ministry, but also by the Education Ministry. It is not enough to change the approach to training qualified specialists in blue-collar and engineering jobs. We must use the Soviet experience to significantly raise the prestige of engineering professions, the status of those people whose hands and brains create tangible assets. Otherwise, all our plans will remain on paper.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko urged to strengthen the links between all levels of education - from schools and universities to production facilities: “We should stick to a single logic to achieve a common result. The efficiency criterion for educational institutions should be the demand for their graduates and salaries of fledgling specialists.”
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