Belarus is a country where they can do Hardware
According to the Association “Innovative Instrument Making”, the industry includes about 150 companies, more than 70% of which are exported. And the share of high-tech products in their total production exceeds 50%.
Industry participants believe that the Belarusian instrument-making industry has serious growth prospects, including in world markets. But in order to unleash the potential of the industry, certain conditions are necessary. To solve this problem, the Association “Innovative Instrument Making” initiated the development of an industry development strategy, within the framework of which a study of instrument-making companies was recently launched. However, some factors that influence the development of the industry are obvious even before the results of the study appear. One of the most serious is the personnel problem.
Need a mod for engineering specialties
Speaking at the November Hardware Congress, Lyudmila Antonovskaya, chairman of the board of the Innovative Instrumentation Association, noted that competition between employers in the labor market has intensified. And in ten years, the issue of staff shortages will become even more acute, since at that time a small generation born during the demographic recession will enter the labor market.
“If we don’t think about how to attract young people to instrumentation now, after 10 years we will not be able to work. Students need to want to go to universities, to engineering specialties, to physics and chemistry. It is necessary that this be a fashion, the same as it was in the post-Soviet era for lawyers and economists. And you need to start from school, ”said Lyudmila Antonovskaya in her speech at HardwareCongress.
The engineering profession has recently lost popularity in Belarus, although only a few decades ago it was one of the most popular. It is known that in the USSR, Belarus played the role of an assembly shop, and not only industrial enterprises were created here, but also research institutes and laboratories. The presence of a good engineering school for many years was considered as one of the main advantages of the country.
In the opinion of Ivan Shumsky, co-owner of the Regula company, the foundations of the Soviet, and, therefore, Belarusian engineering school were laid back in the time of Peter I, who attracted German and Dutch engineers to Russia. “We got all the pros and cons of the German and Dutch schools. Russian, then Soviet, and after them Belarusian engineers created everything soundly, firmly, reliably. Our engineers also worked very hard for military needs. We did everything that flies, shoots, rides, ”Shumsky said in an interview with The Daily Planner.
Today, the achievements of Belarusian engineers have almost been squeezed out of public consciousness. Very few people know that Belarusian companies successfully operate in international markets, and some of them even occupy a leading position. Among such companies are Polimaster, which manufactures radiation monitoring devices, Regula, which specializes in passport and banknote authentication devices, Izovak, which manufactures equipment for creating Iphone and Android displays, and others. These companies are often called “hidden champions” because they are world leaders in their niche, but are not publicly known. The lack of fame played a cruel joke with them: young people today seek IT, but few of today's schoolchildren and students think that it is possible to solve interesting problems and make good money in Hardware-companies.
“We need to PR, first from the inside, in our country, then in the world. Because today they don’t know that we are a country that can do hardware, ”Roman Pakholkov, founder and owner of Promwad, an independent electronics design center, said at a recent HardwareCongress.
According to Ivan Shumsky, “it is important that a person likes to engage in instrumentation. A lot of young people, having seen enough of Western films, want to get everything at once. But the path of any specialist is a long road to success. This training, and practice, and the development of skills. Although a long track, nonetheless interesting. It is important that the person likes it. Therefore, we constantly show how we work, what successful engineers we have, what projects we make. ”
People who train staff need to pay
Another factor that has a serious impact on human resources is the situation in the education system. People with experience in teaching in Belarusian universities note that the cost of an hour of lecturing corresponds to the hour of the cost of parking near the university. “I myself am from a family of professors, and in Soviet times they had a salary of 500 rubles, then unimaginable money. And in the dashing 1990s, it was not entirely fair to deal with those who train engineering personnel. And still the salaries of teachers know what. And people who train personnel have to pay, ”says Ivan Shumsky.
At the moment, instrument-making enterprises are making efforts to help universities in the issue of training. Today, legislative opportunities for private companies to participate in universities are limited. For example, there are no opportunities to finance specific talented teachers: any financial assistance is being eroded by the budget of the entire educational institution. Nevertheless, instrument-making companies find a way out. Many businesses encourage their employees to conduct classes at universities, and some do joint projects with educational institutions. According to Ivan Shumsky, “my employees are ready to work in universities, and I am ready to give them time to teach.”
It is likely that in the process of implementing the instrument development strategy, new approaches to cooperation between business and higher education will be found. According to industry participants, this is one of the necessary conditions for the Belarusian instrument-making industry to develop and improve its position in the world market.