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9 Apr, 2008 05:33

Staff shortages cripple Russian business

Russian business is crying out for skilled workers, according to Severstal Group CEO, Aleksey Mordashov. He’s joined a group of leading businessmen who are appealing for help from president-elect Dmitry Medvedev.

Latest surveys suggest 54% of Russian directors view staff shortages as the biggest impediment to growth.

Mordashov suggest immigration reform may be one answer, but the president of Russian Railways says it may not be so easy.

“It’s not highly-qualified personnel that are migrating to Russia, quite the opposite. Those are people working with a hammer-drill or a shovel, which is very important but won't directly solve the problem of labour productivity,” Vladimir Yakunin said.

One of the key goals that Dmitry Medvedev set for Russian businessmen is to boost productivity.

He admitted, however, that the country faces a labour shortage.

The main inducements for educated skilled people are attractive pay, and good working and living conditions.

“Labour productivity can't be separated from safety at work. We know about Chinese working conditions. This issue should be handled carefully,” said Oleg Deripaska, ‘Basic Element’ head.