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Companies in the industry are launching their own universities and online platforms, as well as collaborating with educational institutions

The subject of sustainable development is inseparable from the education and educational projects of companies in the mining and metalls complex within the framework of the concept of corporate ESG – Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance. Ensuring quality education and encouraging learning opportunities is one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

All Ukraine’s mining & metals industry companies experience personnel problems to some extent. This is especially true for narrow specialties and qualified line personnel. Now companies are trying not to rely on the state and train personnel for themselves for targeted projects and/or somehow motivate them from school. There are many reasons for this situation:

  • the decline of the system of vocational education and engineering education;
  • natural aging of the population;
  • lack of prestige of working specialties among young people;
  • lack of information among young people about the prospects for engineering specialties;
  • new requirements for technology, etc.

Employers need a specialist who will have knowledge and even skills to work on equipment from the first working day. At the same time, we note that in the top 10 most popular specialties among applicants there is not a single engineering one.

As a rule, mining & metals companies cannot influence the general education system. However, private initiatives and explanatory work are quite within the power of industry participants. What is already happening and finding support directly in educational institutions.

Metinvest

It is one thing to enter into collaborations with local universities, it is another thing to create your own university from scratch. Metinvest decided to go this way.

In the summer of this year, the company began construction of the campus of the first non-state mining and metalls university “Metinvest Polytechnic” in Mariupol. The project includes a 12-storey building with 11,000 sq. m, a six-storey hostel with a total area of ​​6 thousand square meters, the creation of 15 laboratories, a conference hall for 400 people, etc.

The building of the university will be built according to the most modern technologies from Metinvest steel. The university received permits necessary to start work, as well as licenses for training for 310 bachelors and 240 masters. It is expected that already in September 2022, Metinvest Polytechnic will open for the first students. The university has entered into partnership agreements with other educational institutions of Ukraine. In addition, it is envisaged to attract foreign specialists and companies.

It should be noted that Metinvest Polytechnic is one of the company’s many educational projects. In particular, this summer in Zaporozhye, an educational project STEAM Camp was implemented for teachers of exact sciences, in which more than 500 teachers from Zaporozhye, Krivoy Rog and Mariupol took part.

“The company invests heavily in education so that children can get high-quality knowledge, choose a worthy specialty, find a job and, ultimately, having created their own families, ensure their development. From 2017 to 2020, the enterprises of the Metinvest group employed 3.5 thousand university graduates. Today we need not only specialists in steel industry. We feel the need, for example, for IT specialists who understand steel industry, environmentalists, and representatives of other professions,” said the director of the regional development department of Metinvest Olexandr Vyshnyakov during sustainable development day organized by the European Business Association.

According to Yuriy Ryzhenkov, CEO of Metinvest, over the past 15 years the company has invested UAH 150 million directly in education. In addition, Metinvest supported projects to introduce 57 professional and 50 educational standards.

ArcelorMittal Krivoy Rog

ArcelorMittal has a slightly different, but similar path. The company plans to complete the construction by the end of 2023 of new pelletizing plant worth $ 250 million. And specifically for this project, 300 students are recruited who did not have experience working on the existing equipment of the enterprise. The company trains specialists together with the Kryvyi Rih National University and the State University of Economics and Technology.

Before the launch of the project, a survey was conducted among schoolchildren and students of Kryvyi Rih. They were asked different questions, including “What do you want?”. It turned out that many would like to stay in their hometown, but do not see prospects.

“Today, together with the factory, we are preparing the future generation of our employees. Our industry is unfortunately aging. Our main objective in the sustainable development strategy is to bring young people back into the steel industry and completely change the attitude towards the industry. It is necessary to return young people to technical specialties, to popularize technical education. We need to show again how interesting it is to study mathematics, physics, how promising it is to enter a technical specialty, and due to this, make steel industry attractive again,” explained Julia Chermazovych,  Director for Industry Relations and Social Development, ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih.

According to her, the company plans to develop a new culture among students. It is assumed that the new generation will share the values ​​of the company and will become the bearer of the competencies necessary for the future enterprise.

Of the bonuses offered by ArcelorMittal, there are full-time free training for the real needs of the business, guaranteed employment, internship opportunities, including abroad, learning English, using the acquired knowledge on Western equipment.

“It is expected that our investments in this program will amount to about UAH 70 million over three years. The company plans to invest these funds in student education, scholarships, foreign internships, the creation of comfortable hostels and modern classrooms. For the most ambitious and active, we guarantee employment in our innovative and environmentally friendly factory.” noted earlier Julia Chermazovych.

Interpipe

Interpipe has its own way of human resource development. The company starts “from afar” – long before potential employees enter the university. This is facilitated by the mechatronics laboratories organized with the participation of Interpipe.

According to Lyudmyla Novak, director of corporate relations at Interpipe, the company, together with the mayor’s office of Dnipro, has been implementing projects to create educational spaces for technical creativity during the current year. The company is transforming obsolete classrooms in secondary schools into laboratories for technical creativity.

“Here children get their first skills in technical specialties, understand the scope of their application, the prospect of technical professions in terms of income and professional development. Now two laboratories are already working, two more will be opened in the coming weeks, and two more are in the project for 2022, – emphaized Ludmyla Novak.

In addition, according to her, Interpipe is building modern mechatronics laboratories equipped with reduced copies of real industrial lines. Such laboratories are successfully operating in two schools and two more will open before the end of 2021.

Ferrexpo

As GMK Center was told in Ferrexpo, the company’s personnel potential is developing in six main directions.

Six programs Ferrexpo for the development of human resources

Название программыСуть программы
1Обучение по профессии. В основном касается категории рабочих. В большинстве случаев внутреннее обучение, на базе Центра технической экспертизы1.1. Обучение по профессии (как первичная подготовка, так и переподготовка по смежной, дополнительной профессии). 1.2. Повышение разряда в профессии. 1.3. Курсы по изучению нового оборудования. 1.4. Курсы по охране труда, пожарной, техногенной безопасности, доврачебной медицинской помощи (в том числе для ИТР)
2Курсы развития лидерства, основ управления. Преимущественно вовлечен действующий руководящий состав и кадровый резерв2.1. Школа мастеров. 2.2. Программа развития менеджеров среднего звена. 2.3. Лидерская программа для ключевых ролей в компании и «талантов» (кадрового резерва)
3Развитие функциональных навыков. В основном это внешние открытые программы, тренинги, семинары. Но есть и корпоративные, чаще всего – для инженерно-технических работников3.1. Семинары, конференции, выставки, круглые столы по функциональным направлениям (внешние открытые). 3.2. Семинары, круглые столы (внутренние, закупленные для Ferrexpo)
4Подготовка кадрового резерва4.1. Обучение в вузах. 4.2. Программы МВА
5Обучение студентов «для себя»5.1. Дуальные программы обучения (сотрудничество с тремя довузовскими учебными заведениями). 5.2. Практика студентов (ПТУ, колледжи, ВУЗы). 5.3. Стипендиальная программа для талантливых выпускников школ. 5.4. Классы Ferrexpo: профильные классы на базе средней школы
6Дополнительные программы, направленные на саморазвитие6.1. Школа английского языка. 6.2. Курсы ИТ (для всех категорий). 6.3. Автошкола (как для профподготовки, так и для всех желающих). 6.4. Fe_munity – школа женского лидерства. 6.5. Wellbeing – программа благополучия для сотрудников

Current expenses of Ferrexpo for educational processes (not investments) are:

  • 2019 – $900 thousand;
  • 2020 – $730 thousand;
  • 2021 (plan) – $1.63 million

“From the very beginning of its existence, our company understands that sustainable development is the main key to success. The Group’s management has always paid special attention to the implementation of sustainable development projects. In recent years, the company has invested more than $33 million in sustainable development goals. Our activities are aimed at achieving 14 of the 17 goals set by the UN. I would like to emphasize that the main values ​​for us are people, customers and the environment. And it is around them that we build our development strategy,” said Yaroslavna Blonska, Executive Director for External Relations Ferrexpo.

Centravis

The Centravis Pipe Company has recently launched an online educational platform for training its personnel – the Centravis Academy. It was created on the basis of the LMS platform of the Ukrainian company SmartExpert. It took about a year to bring the platform to the level of Centravis’ needs.

With the help of the platform, the company wants to continuously improve the professional skills and increase the level of knowledge of employees. Now 17 training courses are available on the platform, which were created, among other things, by Centravis’ internal trainers. The number of courses and programs is expected to increase in the near future.

Now many companies in the manufacturing sector cooperate with universities and try to solve their personnel problems in other available ways. Perhaps it is thanks to this synergy between business and education that the quality of teaching will improve significantly, and the industry will receive qualified and motivated personnel.