In today's world, knowledge and the people who possess it play a key role in social development. Personnel training is becoming one of the key factors in creation of innovative products. Educational orientations and strategies of young people are of particular importance. Working youth is a strategic resource in social development of the country. In this context, it is important to study the attitude of working youth to education and training. In this paper, we consider the educational potential of urban youth; study the learning process of young people in large Russian companies and their participation in educational activities; analyse the influence of the crisis on education of working youth. The role and importance of youth in the context of reforming modern Russian society shows that this social category could not only bring potential for positive changes but also be a possible factor of social instability. According to research, modern working youth are able and ready to learn, considering it as an instrumental value for self-realization, increasing their status, wages and career advancement. The study is based on the original research and secondary analysis of other sociological studies.
Keywords: EducationRussian citiessocial developmenturban youthvocational trainingworking youth
Investment in human capital, including, above all, investment in education is among the most important factors of economic growth. This is also required by the course for technical, technological and socio-economic modernization taken by our country. The transition to market relations led to the high demand for the qualified labour force. The new type of worker is needed to change the structure of the Russian economy (Rysina et al., 2013). The researchers rightly state that today it is necessary to train people in a particular field and to teach them leadership and self-efficacy skills (Ratner & Skorikova, 2011).
According to the Federal State Statistics Service, 146.9 million people live in Russia (Rosstat, 2018). The "youth" category includes young people between the ages of 14 and 30. According to 2018 statistics, 29.4 million young people live in Russia. The majority of young people are employed in service industries (in descending order): finance (34.5 %); hotel and restaurant business (29.9 %), wholesale and retail trade (28.6 %).
Education has great importance for the self-realization of an individual. Youth education statistics are distributed as follows: 5 % of young people have primary education, 17 % - general secondary, 30 % - full secondary, 11% - primary vocational, 19 % - secondary vocational, 18 % - higher. Yu. A. Zubok rightly notes that the level of education only indirectly indicates its quality. The process of training of highly qualified personnel depends on the value component of the attitude of young people to education. The quality of education is largely determined by the motives of its acquisition and by the values attached to it (Zubok & Chuprov, 2012).
One needs an education in order to compete in the labour market. Since the main purpose of vocational education is to prepare a qualified and competitive employee. It is necessary to form competencies that ensure these qualities.
The attitude of working youth to education, its forms and methods are still relevant in this regard.
Modern Russian scientists pay significant attention to the analysis of basic and socio-situational characteristics of attitude to education. In the works of Zubok and Chuprov (2012) education of young people is considered in relation to their value orientations, life strategies and plans. Educational and employment strategies of the youth, education values, and attitudes to training in modern conditions are analysed comprehensively by Konstantinovskiy et al. (2015).
Educational potential, values and the role of education, educational strategies in the process of transition from education to work are analyzed by Viejo (2019), Johnson and Elder (2002), Brunetti and Corsini (2019) and others. Numerous works of international researchers, including the works of Lechner et al. (2017), Masdonati et al. (2016), Cano-Escoriaza (2019), Johnson (2001), Speckesser et al. (2019) are devoted to the study of the adolescents’ work potential, the evolution of work values, work strategies.
It should be emphasized that in the conditions of the ongoing socio-economic transformations in societies, the study of the dynamics of changes in the values of modern youth is of particular importance. In this regard, the works of Sortheix et al. (2019) is of considerable interest in studying the impact of the global financial crisis on the young people in European countries and their personal values.
Purpose of the Study
In this paper, we consider the educational potential of urban youth; study the learning process of young people in large Russian companies and their participation in educational activities; analyse the influence of the crisis on the education of working youth. The study is based on the original research and secondary analysis of other sociological studies.
In 2018, the authors conducted a large-scale research “Sociocultural features of the adolescents’ social potential” among the youth of Russian regions (the regions of Russia – Penza, Saratov regions, the Republic of Mordovia) using a single sociological tool, which made it possible to undertake a comparative analysis. An original computer software “Sociology” was developed to process sociological data, which allowed to automate all processes: from the preparation of the questionnaire to its processing; the software is based on the scanning of questionnaires and automatic recognition of respondents’ answers.
Education in the structure of basic values and attitude to education of modern working youth
The materials of the authors' 2018 sociological research allowed considering the structure of basic life values of modern working youth (Table
Studies have shown that family is the main value of working youth. The value of education turned out to be about equally important for different groups of working youth, but its value is slightly higher for young entrepreneurs.
Analysis of attitudes to education, conducted by Russian researchers Zubok and Chuprov (2012) indicates a decrease in the share of terminal values of education. Thus, in 2011 in the age group of 18-24-year-olds the attitude to education as a terminal value was at the level of 41%, and in the group of 25-29 - year-olds - 36.4 % (in 2002 among 25-29-year-olds its value was higher-59.4 %). Instrumental values that characterize the attitude to education as a means to achieve other goals in 2011 in the group of 18-24-year-olds amounted to 59%, and in the group of 25-29-year-olds to 63.6 %. Thus, it was concluded that the level of instrumental values of education increases with age. However, despite the increase in the educational level of young people, low terminal values of education and knowledge prove that the basic characteristics of young people's attitude to education are unsatisfactory. It affects the quality of training of highly qualified specialists. Therefore, the potential inherent in the relatively high level of education can be realised only with an adequate level of motivation (Zubok & Chuprov, 2012).
According to the authors' research, only young employees of state enterprises and young entrepreneurs consider higher education as a guarantee of life success (Table
According to the study by Zubok and Chuprov (2012), the decrease in the share of terminal value of knowledge and the growth of its instrumental value is observed in older age groups of young people. One in two in the 25 to 29 age group (47.9 %) believes that knowledge is only a means of solving certain problems, and 48.6% are convinced that money can replace knowledge. Similar results were obtained in the authors' research (Table
System and experience of training of young employees in Russia
It is impossible to create a "next generation of personnel" without a model of continuous education. Today, the adult education market offers a range of programs for a variety of professional and personal goals (Figure
In 2016, more than 6 million people (about 20% of all employed) were trained. The largest number-44% (2.8 million people) updated their secondary or higher education by taking supplementary vocational education programs. Most students were aged 25-49 years old: during this period of life, the employee is most actively involved in the main production processes of an enterprise, and the education received is not enough because of the continuous updating of technologies. At the same time, the number of young people under the age of 25, who are just beginning to enter the labour market, remains relatively high; this indicates the need of enterprises for special adaptation programs for young workers (Korshunov et al., 2018). 494.8 thousand young people under the age of 29 were among those who received supplementary vocational training in 2016. The share of employees under 25 who were trained within the system of supplementary vocational training is 6.42% and in the group of 25-29-14.58% (Analytical Center under the Government of Russian Federation, 2014).
Youth as the most mobile part of the population makes special demands to the variety of forms and content of supplementary vocational training and flexibility of the system, which explains the growth of activity of the group under the age of 30 years.
Research of the Institute of Sociology (Russian Academy of Sciences) showed that a certain part of young specialists receives supplementary education in the field in which they work. Supplementary education can be received in different forms: state career development system (24.1%); state courses (10.4%); non-state courses (8.5%); private training (3.8%); self-training (7.7%); remote training (1.1%) (Konstantinovskiy et al., 2006).
Today working youth is a very large social group, the most important social resource and the main driving force of any enterprise. Being an important element of personnel policy, work with young people at the enterprise promotes professional adaptation of young specialists, professional development and growth. Figure
Large Russian companies pay considerable attention to training of personnel. For example, Sberbank holds educational and scientific conferences, develops advanced educational programs, as well as programs aimed at developing the scientific potential of young people. In 2018, Sberbank Corporate University has more than 120 programs and courses for the development of relevant competencies and skills of senior, middle and junior managers. The programs are updated by 40-50% yearly. The share of online education is constantly growing and by the end of 2018, it amounted to50%. Sberbank uses different educational technologies: interactive lectures and training, work in small groups and discussions, case studies; business simulations; webinars, online conferences, e-courses for self-study, etc. (Sberbank Corporate University, n.d.).
Gazprom's training and development system is designed for all categories of employees. The company has a system of continuous professional training aimed at the development of employees to meet the growing production requirements and quality of work, the introduction of new technologies and the expansion of regions where the company operates. Training is conducted in educational institutions of Gazprom, training and production centres of subsidiaries of Gazprom, and in leading universities of Russia. The Corporate University is the knowledge management centre. In 2017, training programs covered 88 % of Gazprom's employees (Gazpromneft, 2017).
Today, personnel management services are working in the field of youth programs more and more. Various social groups, including young professionals who came to the company after graduation and young workers are the objects of company's youth policy (Manheim, 2011).
Gazprom implements an individual approach to training and development of young specialists. Every year the company employs more than 2 thousand specialists. Gazprom holds scientific and technical conferences of young specialists, implements a three-year program of development of young specialists "Three frontiers", aimed at the disclosure of professional and career ¬potential, which includes adaptation measures, ¬career trainings, as well as a system of mentoring.
In the Cherepovets metallurgical plant Severstal, one-third of the company's employees are young. The company has a well-developed system of adaptation of young employees. Participation in the adaptation program begins with the employment of a young specialist and includes social adaptation (up to 3 months): introduction to the team, work with a mentor and professional adaptation (up to 2 years).
Thirty-five per cent of "Surgutneftegas" employees are young people under the age of 35 years. The company successfully cooperates with more than 100 educational institutions of the country within the program of training of young specialists.
Russian Railways employs about 285 thousand young workers, which is 21 % of the total staff. Almost 26 thousand people are trained in railway universities. About 27 thousand people are students of technical schools (colleges). About 9 thousand graduates of higher and secondary vocational schools start working in Russian Railways every year. The company has developed a target program "Youth of Russian Railways", within which the projects "Young professional", "Professionalism of youth" are implemented (Manheim, 2011).
Plans for continuing education and self-education of working youth
According to the Institute of Sociology (Russian Academy of Sciences), young people mostly choose second higher education as a way to improve their knowledge. More than a fifth of respondents (22.3 %) plan to self-educate. 18.3% focus on private lessons and tutoring. Almost equal number of respondents focus on state (16.4%) and non-state (15%) courses and schools. Less young people plan to utilize the career development system (9.8 %) (Konstantinovskiy et al., 2006). Second higher education is also one of the leaders among the most effective ways to obtain knowledge.
Authors' 2018 research shows that most employed young people plan to continue their education (Figure
Self-education of youth – social actions of different groups of youth aimed at independent knowledge of the surrounding reality. The goals of self-education of young people are different: increasing or maintaining a high status in the group, meeting the need to study a certain topic, acquiring a skill, career advancement, etc. The terminal value of education explains the high motivation to gain more knowledge (Cherednichenko, 2014).
Sociologists explain the tendency to self-education as follows: firstly, the lack of planning skills to improve the educational level, and secondly, fears that supplementary education will entail large financial investments, as well as doubts about the quality of educational services offered in addition. Researchers of the Institute of Sociology emphasize an important aspect of self-education of working people: the range of areas suitable for effective self-education and possible for valorising in one's career is not so wide (Konstantinovskiy et al., 2006).
According to the authors' research, self-education is becoming more popular among working youth. Young entrepreneurs and civil servants are leading in this area (Table
The role and importance of youth in the context of reforming modern Russian society shows that this social category could not only bring potential for positive changes but also be a possible factor of social instability. Young people are a "risk group" that needs support from state and non-state actors. One of the youth problems is low competitiveness in the labour market in comparison with other categories of the population due to the lack of necessary work experience, non-compliance of acquired competencies with the requirements of employers. Lack of primary and supplementary skills should be added to the list of young people's problems. Training of young professionals and working youth can become a solution. According to research, modern working youth are able and ready to learn, considering it as an instrumental value for self-realization, increasing their status, wages and career advancement.
The average age of personnel in Russian enterprises is increasing, so the attraction and retention of qualified young professionals are one of the strategic objectives. Today, the adult education market offers a range of programs for a variety of professional and personal goals. The system of training of working youth in enterprises includes different forms and methods of training. Studies show that a fifth of young people considers advanced training and supplementary courses as effective forms of acquiring necessary professional knowledge and skills. The experience of large Russian companies testifies to the high level of cooperation with young people in the field of professional adaptation and development. Research materials show that most of today's working youth have plans to continue their education, most often young entrepreneurs.
This study was supported by the grant of the President of the Russian Federation for the young Russian scientists state support on scientific research "Socio-cultural Features of the Young People Social Potential Formation during the Crisis and Transformation of Russian Society" (project number: MD-328.2018.6).
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Rozhkova, L., Vlazneva, S., Salnikova, O., & Dubina, A. (2020). Attitude To Education And Vocational Training Of Working Youth Of Russian Cities. In N. L. Shamne, S. Cindori, E. Y. Malushko, O. Larouk, & V. G. Lizunkov (Eds.), Individual and Society in the Modern Geopolitical Environment, vol 99. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 763-772). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.12.04.88