Contestants from 9 Russian Arctic Regions Take Part in First Professional Skills Championship in Northern Professions

Representatives of nine regions of Russia’s Arctic zone took part in the first Professional Skills Championship in Northern Professions, which took place on 10–14 August in Murmansk. More than 100 experts from the Agency for the Development of Skills and Professions evaluated the performance of 80 contestants aged 16 to 22 in competitions in 15 disciplines. The championship was held as part of the main events of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023, which are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation.

One unique feature of the championship is that its organizers opted not to employ the typical foreign standards for similar events, but instead created their own with a focus on professionals who work in the difficult conditions of the Arctic. The championship promotes the socioeconomic development of Russia’s Arctic regions and motivates young professionals.

“The young people were able to demonstrate their potential over the three days of the competition. For me, each participant is a real hero, whose capabilities will only increase with each passing year. The enterprises of the Arctic zone and the country’s economy need such innovators of a new generation as well as fresh ideas and unconventional solutions. Of course, the kids have a great future,” Murmansk Region Deputy Governor Yury Fomin said during the closing ceremony.

Soslan Abisalov, Director of the Department for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and the Implementation of Infrastructure Projects at the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic, noted that developing the Russian Arctic is crucial to the comprehensive growth of the country’s economy that ensuring the region is properly staffed is a key challenge, since people are the main resource in this process. Consistent and systematic work needs to be continued in the North to unleash the talent pool of its citizens.

“The Northern Professions Championship was another step down this path. The event will be held annually, but its location will change in a different region of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation. In Murmansk, we started with the youngest participant beating a tambourine. Sixteen-year-old Denis Mironov from the Krasnoyarsk Territory is a contestant in engineering design. Competitions were held on unique expertise in reindeer herding, Arctic tourism, wood and bone carving, and folk crafts of the Indigenous peoples of the Arctic. I’m certain that next year the championship programme will be even more eventful, attract the attention of young people, and provide an impetus for the development of the professions that the Russian North needs,” Abisalov said.

The first Professional Skills Championship in Northern Professions highlighted both the traditional expertise of the Agency for the Development of Skills and Professions, as well as other areas taking into account features that are characteristic of the labour market of the Arctic zone, such as national cuisine, Arctic tourism, and the folk crafts of Indigenous peoples of the north, among others.

“Industry-based championships are extremely important. On the one hand, they help to demonstrate a real production process and conduct an independent and open assessment of specialists. On the other hand, it’s an important communication platform where new demands for skills take hold and expertise changes. Brilliant results can be achieved by introducing unified mechanisms for staffing the economy of all Arctic regions, coordinating the needs of enterprises and the capabilities of educational institutions, and pursuing a coordinated HR policy in the regions, said Andrey Pivinsky, Advisor to the General Director of the Agency for the Development of Skills and Professions.

Upon conclusion of the official closing ceremony, Abisalov was presented with the championship flag, which will later be passed onto the region where the competitions will be held next year.

The championship is being organized by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic and the Murmansk Region Government.

A cross-cutting priority of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council is to ensure responsible governance for the sustainable development of the Arctic, which is largely determined by the quality of human capital. Priority attention is being given to work to maintain the sustainability and viability of the peoples of the North, promote measures to adapt them to climate change, improve people’s well-being, health, education, and quality, and ensure sustainable socioeconomic development throughout the region.