The joint project of EkoNiva and Voronezh State Agricultural University — Training 3.0 — has earned a prestigious award at the Trajectory, Nationwide Youth Career Guidance Programme Competition, in the Talent pool category.
The Trajectory competition took place for the 4th time to facilitate implementation of efficient youth career guidance as one of the priorities of the state youth policy.
Unfortunately, a lot of university graduates further take up jobs completely different from their qualification, which results in a considerable lack of workers in many industries. However, the unwillingness of graduates to pursue careers according to their qualifications is not the only cause of the problem. Companies in the sector fail to create training environment for the students and ensure they have opportunities to gain on-site experience in their fields.
EkoNiva company, unlike others, brings prospective young employees into sharp focus. For more than five years, the company has been developing an internship programme making it more effective and inviting the best industry specialists and academic researchers. Training 3.0 project has become the result of this long-term work. Its goal is to support students’ interest in their field of studies when it is necessary, provide them with hands-on experience and introduce them to cutting-edge practices in dairy farming.
A survey looking into the problem of low percentage of agricultural university graduates employed by farming enterprises shows that students become disengaged in their studies and get bored with tons of theory and no practice in the third year of studies. Therefore Training 3.0 project targets sophomore students who still have an ardent interest in their specialty and are eager to practice the most progressive technologies.
The training programme comprises several stages. First, students spend 14 days at one of EkoNiva dairies. Students learn about daily operations, milking and feeding basics and a breeding process. The second week is focused on nutrition and baby calf care. The students do the daily ration adjustment for feeders and mix the fodder themselves. Moreover, sophomores measure forage dry matter, feed calves and work with fresh cows supervised by experienced colleagues.
‘I think Training 3.0 has managed to combine the efforts of business and Voronezh Agricultural University to attract more promising young specialists to the industry’, says Boris Morev, Personnel Training and Development Department Manager of EkoNiva-APK Holding. ‘The project targets sophomores to make them aware of job prospects at production enterprises. They can have an internship and get better understanding of their profession. We already see positive results of the project as the students are now more motivated to work in production and have a different way of thinking about their future careers.’
According to the programme founders, they have managed to achieve their initial goal. The students show interest in their field of studies after they have experienced cutting-edge practices in dairy farming. Training 3.0 has allowed students to gain experience in all areas of modern farm operations and break the old stereotypes about farming.
‘Our cooperation project with EkoNiva company has been running for several years’, says Natalia Derkanosova, Vice-Rector for Education of Voronezh State Agricultural University. ‘Two years ago, tailor-made ongoing training programmes and on-site internships all year round seemed impossible. But now, we have individual internship plans for our students and we are able to implement them. EkoNiva shares its best practices with us and you can’t see it often nowadays. We hope that our joint projects will ensure that the modern agricultural sector of our region and the country has skilled workers and the customers have tasty and high-quality dairy products on their tables’
EkoNiva puts emphasis on providing opportunities for internship of young professionals. In 2018, over 1,100 students from 50 Russian colleges and universities took internship at the holding enterprises. And these numbers are increasing year by year.
By Viktor BARGOTIN