National Patterns and Challenges
Edited by Ellu Saar, Odd Bjørn Ure and John Holford
Chapter 13: Formal adult education in the context of the transforming labour market in Russia
Severe socio-economic and political changes after the collapse of the Soviet Union had a great impact on the transformation of the Russian labour market. In the late 1980s and early 1990s a sharp and chaotic transition began from a state-planned economy to liberal capitalism. Since this transition was rather destructive for most spheres of the newly forming Russian society it also caused a severe crisis in the labour market, which resulted in growing rates of unemployment and the inability of the system of formal education to meet the requirements of employers and learners. Starting from the 2000s a slow but stable economic growth began which had a positive effect on the development of the labour market. However, the recession of 2008 again caused transition period problems (stagnation of a number of industries, unemployment) and formed preventative governmental policy. According to this policy, formal education was supposed to fill the gap between the requirements of the labour market and the offers of the system of education by retraining the newly unemployed and those on the verge of cutbacks, as well as suspend the exit of young graduates to the labour market. However, those measures not only proved to be ineffective but also demonstrated the inflexibility of the system of formal education under changing socio-economic conditions as well as promoting the non-formal sector as a serious competitor in the education services market.
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