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Cherkizovo Group outlines its contribution to agricultural education

08 april 2024
Cherkizovo Group outlines its contribution to agricultural education

Cherkizovo Group, Russia’s largest meat producer, took part in the Nationwide Scientific and Educational Agrarian Forum and provided insights into its collaborative initiatives with educational institutions designed to train experts for the agricultural sector.

The Nationwide Scientific and Educational Agrarian Forum, convened under the auspices of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture at the Stavropol State Agrarian University last week, saw agrarian educators, researchers, state authorities, and business leaders discuss a wide array of topics pertinent to staffing and scientific support of the agricultural industry.

Oksana Luth, First Deputy Minister of Agriculture, briefed the forum attendees on the ministry’s advocacy for stronger relationships between secondary and higher educational institutions, and employers. In her speech, she stressed that the prime candidates for agricultural academic establishments are young people from rural areas within the footprint of major agribusinesses. Oksana Luth emphasized the need to enhance the students’ academic performance in dedicated subjects at school to help them qualify for higher education by promoting online lessons given by university lecturers and by reskilling rural schoolteachers. Businesses need to shepherd students from their school days through to university graduation and their ultimate employment.

Cherkizovo Group’s approach to liaising with academic institutions was showcased by the Company’s delegates. Anastasia Mikhailova, Head of Communications at Cherkizovo Group, emphasized the importance of making agriculture more appealing to schoolchildren and students. “We need to explain what the agricultural sector is all about today, how exciting and prestigious working here can be, and to show the career advancements they can achieve.”

Annually, Cherkizovo Group opens its doors to 1,500 students who can take advantage of the Company’s various employment schemes. Recognizing that this figure is not sufficient, the Group joined forces with the Voronezh State Agrarian University to launch agricultural classes for senior schoolchildren in the Lipetsk Region in 2023.

“University students have already chosen their career paths, hence our decision to start a project targeting those who are in the midst of choosing their future occupation. The agricultural classes seek to engage pupils in the industry, spotlight sought-after agrarian jobs, and, most importantly, guide them towards making informed decisions and achieving the results required by the Unified State Exam (USE) in subjects such as biology, physics, and chemistry — those required for process engineering, veterinarian, and engineering jobs. Parents’ perspectives significantly influence their children’s career choices; therefore, we also make efforts to reach out to parents and inform them about the sector’s benefits, the care provided to employees, and the supportive social environment nurtured by Cherkizovo,” said Olga Khayrullina, Cherkizovo Group’s Head of HR and Organizational Development.

Drawing on the outcomes of the bilateral meetings with delegates from agricultural universities at the forum, Cherkizovo is set to draft a strategic plan focused on enhancing collaboration in attracting university applicants and training students, while also suggesting amendments to educational curricula. The Company anticipates that its hands-on experience as a leading meat producer will help improve the quality of vocational education across Russia.

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