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  • Civil 20 Russia 2013

Civil 20 presents proposals on labor and employment

On March 21, the Public Chamber hosted a roundtable discussion of the Civil 20 recommendations for the G20 on labour and employment.

The Civil 20 coordinator Irina Kostetskaya explained how Civil 20 was in operation and noted that an online crowdsourcing platform Civil 20 Dialogues had already been in place since January 2013. Its goal is to collect recommendations and proposals from the civil society on the key issues outlined by the Russian Presidency:

- energy and environmental sustainability;
- food security;
- the millennium development goals beyond 2015;
- labor and employment;
- anti-corruption;
- financial literacy;
- global financial architecture: financial regulation and debt settlement.

Yelena Yatsenko, co-chair of the Working Group on Labour and Employment and president of the Eurasian Heritage Foundation, said the group had been established to draft recommendations for the G20 Leaders in this sphere due to the fact that job creation was gaining more and more prominence as a goal of economic policy. She presented draft recommendations on the three main subjects: job creation, economic growth and sustainable development; employment of the vulnerable groups of people; monitoring of labour market and employment trends.

On the first subject, the draft suggests the following measures: easing procedures for hiring and dismissing people, young people in particular, at small and medium-sized companies; making competences and qualifications at all levels more transparent to facilitate mutual recognition of diplomas and titles; prioritizing future-oriented education; and investing in infrastructure to create jobs without threatening fiscal discipline. The draft describes job creation as a criterion for assessing performance of organizations with state capital. It has been proposed that guest workers, and their children in particular, have an opportunity to study the language in order to better integrate in the society of residence.

The section on the employment of the vulnerable groups outlines a long-term program to help rural youth find jobs in cities; possible directions of cooperation of the relevant ministries in order to create jobs related to culture and tourism; and measures on social adaptation of former convicts.

The section on monitoring labor and employment includes two main recommendations, namely, international initiatives to plug small and medium companies into global production chains; and common methods for processing statistics to streamline the assessment of national performance in this sphere.

Dmitry Golubovsky, Co-Chair of the Working Group on Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy and analyst of the ATON managing company, spoke on measures to encourage investment in job creation. "Jobs require investments in infrastructure, machines and other equipment," he said. "The state should encourage investment and create jobs. To attain these goals, the state should focus on three things - measures to create and plan for demand for products, tax policy, and fiscal policy. This will make it possible to ensure economic growth through creating jobs."

Alexander Kovalevsky, Director of the Institute for Budget Solutions, emphasized the need to better coordinate professional education and the needs of the labour market. He said that for the time being, employers are not willing to invest in improving the educational system. There are no mechanisms for linking the education system to small and medium-sized enterprises' needs, and false incentives are often created for educational institutions (such as documents on planned job placement and of the signing of memoranda with employers). Expert considers it necessary to promote universal education standards and develop a kind of a contract system for providing people with the skills needed by the state. It is also essential to continue integrating general education and professional training, improving mechanisms to promote cooperation among educational institutions and business, and developing the tools of private-public partnership. Kovalevsky also believes it would be useful to give up efforts to forecast the labour market in favor of monitoring students' expectations.

During the meeting reports were made by Pyotr Posmakov, Head of the Return Project of Oleg Deripaska's Volnoye Delo charity foundation for social innovations, and Yelena Gerasimova, Director of the Centre for Social and Labor Rights and Chair of the council of the Lawyers for Labor Rights professional associations.

Yelena Zotova, Head of the Employment Group of the Presidential Executive Office's G20 Expert Council, also took part in the roundtable discussion.