On 11 February, Nornickel and Saratov State University entered into a cooperation agreement to develop and implement educational programmes for the university’s students, to collaborate on R&D in IT, and to organise joint scientific and R&D events.
The agreement was signed by Vladislav Gasumyanov, State Secretary and Vice President of Government Relations at Nornickel, and Aleksey Chumachenko, Rector of SSU. The signing ceremony was also attended by the Saratov Region officials and Governor Valery Radayev.
“The agreement will contribute to Saratov Region’s talent pool development, attract young professionals to fast-growing industries, create new jobs and give the young people the opportunity to work for the benefit of their home region,” said Aleksey Chumachenko.
The first joint educational programme will be launched by Nornickel’s Shared Services Centre (Nornickel — SSC), a Saratov-based company of the Group. In the course of three semesters, over 50 students will learn how IT can be used to support a company’s business and financial operations. The participants will master the IT support of the main SAP modules, accounting and tax reporting in SAP ERP, and human resources management in SAP HCM. University classes will be blended with internships in Nornickel — SSC’s office.
Vladislav Gasumyanov pointed out that the agreement between Nornickel and SSU lays the groundwork for fruitful long-term cooperation as required to create new much needed professions involving the use of cutting-edge IT solutions. “The agreement is not a one-off or bandwagon initiative, it’s a carefully-crafted long-term policy of our company,” the top manager emphasised adding that over 20 Russian universities already have joint projects with Nornickel. “I am positive that the agreement will boost the region’s talent pool and open up new horizons for the best students and young specialists determined to have a good start and move quickly up the career ladder,” said Vladislav Gasumyanov.
Valery Radayev, Governor of the Saratov Region, also commented on the agreement: “It is symbolic that SSU joins efforts with a major Russian company this year when the university celebrates its 110th anniversary. Today, we can already see it paying off as we benefit from state-of-the-art practical knowledge, the teaching staff’s professional growth, employment of our graduates and their high competitiveness going forward. The project focuses on success of both the business and the young people, and this is what makes it unique.
As the head of the region and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at SSU, I am proud to see our graduates consistently in demand on the high-tech front. It means that they and their peers from the best Russian universities will lead the global digitisation trend and drive the national strategy.”
The students will receive their professional retraining diplomas at the same time as their graduation diplomas are awarded. All training costs under the programme will be covered by Nornickel — SSC. Upon graduation, the programme participants will be invited to join the company.
“Saratov was not a random choice for locating our Shared Services Centre, the decision was based on the strong talent supply in the region,” commented Anton Lopatsinsky, CEO of Nornickel — SSC. “Today we are ready to join hands in training future employees in the region. We plan to build stronger relationships with SSU and help young people find their calling in life.
We look forward to welcoming the graduates to our team and creating the organisation of the future together.”
Working with high-potential young people is one of Nornickel’s priorities. According to Darya Kryachkova, Nornickel’s HR Director, the sourcing and training programme includes a number of initiatives. The major ones are the Career Start-Up internship programme, Conquerors of the North internal case competition, and First Arctic leadership programme. “It is of utmost importance to attract and develop the best young specialists as the future of the company depends on them”, she said.
Nornickel — SSC is a shared services centre for Nornickel Group companies. It provides a wide range of services in IT, finance, human resources, automation, and other non-mining operations. Nornickel — SSC has a central office in Moscow, the main operational unit in Saratov, two branches (Kola branch in Monchegorsk and Zapolyarny branch in Norilsk), and divisions in Moscow, St Petersburg, Norilsk, Monchegorsk, Chita and Krasnoyarsk.