04.07.2019 | On the site of the Foundation of the First President and IWEP discussed the development of human capital in Kazakhstan

The Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy and the Institute of World Economy and Politics (IWEP) organized a round table on the theme: «Human capital is a key factor in the competitiveness of Kazakhstan».

In his welcoming speech, Asset Issekeshev, the Executive Director of the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy, said:  «Under the conditions of the fourth industrial revolution and the development of the knowledge economy, people and their potential are «new oil». Today, under the auspices of the fund, the first meeting is held in a new open format with the involvement of leading experts of Kazakhstan for a comprehensive discussion of the development of human capital in our country. For the Foundation of the First President, human capital development is one of the missions of its work. In this regard, today’s event is a kind of launching point for a new public format for discussing the development of Kazakhstan with the domestic expert community».

The fund’s management also plans to cooperate with state and private research institutions and the first step in this direction is the signing of memorandums of cooperation with one of the largest state universities – Eurasian National University, named after L. Gumilyov, as well as with the private university «Turan». The signing took place before the event.

The leading economists of the country: Olzhas Khudaibergenov, Rakhim Oshakbayev, Anuar Buranbayev, Daulet Argandykov, Dilbar Gimranova and many others gathered at the round table at the IWEP site. It should be noted that not only the speakers, but also all the participants of the meeting are experts in the fields of economics and human capital development. Consideration of problems from different points of view contributed to a more complete analysis of the topic.

According to experts, today the scale of the economy is no longer a prerequisite for the success of the country. It is much more important to shape and use the knowledge of people and technology to create unique products. For example, according to the World Bank, it is the quality of human capital that determines up to 30% of the difference in the level of economic development of states.

In the UNDP Human Development Index 2015, Kazakhstan ranks 56th out of 188, and according to the World Economic Forum 2017, 29 out of 130. The state consistently allocates funds for education and health care, carries out reforms.

However, recent publications by scientists and experts are increasingly criticizing previous approaches to assessing the development of human capital. Technical quantitative indicators do not give a complete picture. Despite the high positions of Kazakhstan in international rankings, the analysis of Kazakhstan experts in the field of education reveals problematic issues and challenges. For example, only 30-35% of graduates of Kazakhstani universities are employed in their specialty. More than 70% consider higher education as a «diploma», and not a way to improve skills and qualifications.

Specialists also paid attention to the problem of the outflow of educated citizens. Olzhas Khudaibergenov said: «The share of immigrants with higher education is growing every year. If in 2013 there were 30%, then in 2017 already 40%. Over the same period, the outflow of technical personnel from the country increased by 1.5 times. Neighboring Russia, for example, attracts Kazakhstanis with higher wages. At the same time, if people go abroad, mostly people with higher and secondary vocational education, they come to us, mostly without higher education».

Experts noted that it is also necessary to take into account the challenges posed by technological growth and the introduction of artificial intelligence that humanity will face in the coming decades.

In their opinion, automation and robotization will make many human skills and competences irrelevant. For the remaining professions qualification requirements will be significantly increased. In this vein, the development of human capital of the new format should be a key focus of long-term public policy. On how quickly such a model can be implemented in an economy, the competitiveness of states in the near future depends.

Summarizing the discussion, the participants agreed that it is quite difficult to clearly and accurately assess the level of human capital development in the country. On the one hand, there are international indicators and ratings, but on the other hand, they are criticized and provide little management information on what to do to build human capital and its productive use.

«We are sure that the research program of the IWEP «Human Capital» will allow to accumulate systematic accumulation of statistics and professional competences on the development of human capital in the country, as well as provide a basis for the formulation of practical recommendations for the public administration system», concluded discussion moderator and the Director of IWEP Yerzhan Saltybayev.

Based on the recommendations of the participants of the round table, the IWEP experts will prepare analytical materials for the Foundation of the First President and state bodies.