ASYNCHRONOUS DEVELOPMENT OF THE LABOUR MARKET AND THE MARKET OF EDUCATIONAL SERVICES CONTRIBUTING TO THE SHRINKING OF OLD INDUSTRIAL REGIONS
Keywords:old industrial regions, shrinking territories, asynchronous development, real sector of the economy, new technological mode, innovative development, knowledge-intensive industries, regional labour market, staff training system, regional universities, Volgograd oblast
Many Russian regions face shrinking, despite the measures taken by national and regional authorities to slow down this process. The problem of shrinking is especially relevant for old industrial cities and regions unable to adapt to new challenges of the market economy after the shock transition from planned to market economy. The study aims to prove that the asynchronous development of the labour market and the market of educational services contributes to the shrinking of old industrial regions, as well as to identify the interdependence between these markets seen as the most important elements of spatial development strategy in such regions. The research examined data on Volgograd oblast, which is a typical shrinking old industrial region, whose development largely depends on successful retention of graduates on the regional labour market. A sociological survey conducted online in October 2021 of 335 students of the Volgograd State Technical University (the backbone university of the region) was analysed. The comparison of the obtained results with relevant statistical data confirmed asynchronous development of the labour market and the market of educational services. Since the labour market is associated with the real sector of the economy, it does not generate a demand for the regional staff training system. The declared innovative development does not lead to the creation of innovative jobs and, accordingly, to the increase in demand for new professions and competences. A conservative approach of regional universities to staff training also causes asynchrony. To overcome the identified asynchrony, it is required to transform old industrial regions to meet the requirements of the new technological mode, strengthen cooperation between educational institutions and enterprises of the real sector of the economy, and revise educational programmes.
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