The engineering division of Rosatom, Atomenergomash, has launched a programme for assessment and training of workers before they are sent to foreign construction sites, Rosatom said on 1 March. The engineering division includes the leading companies in the nuclear industry, in particular ASE EC JSC (Nizhny Novgorod), Atomstroyexport JSC (Nizhny Novgorod), Atomenergoproekt JSC (Moscow), Atomproekt JSC (St Petersburg). The division is a world leader in terms of the portfolio of orders and the number of NPPs under construction abroad. Foreign projects account for about 80% of the division's revenue.

From May to December 2020, 2,800 employees from the division underwent quarantine in line with COVID-19 restrictions before being sent to NPP construction sites abroad. The plans for 2021 are to send 2,200 people to work at foreign projects.

A comprehensive programme to assess the level of qualifications and training of construction and installation personnel has been underway since the end of January based at the Ershovo industrial park-hotel near Moscow. All employees of Atomstroyexport undergo quarantine before leaving for work abroad. The programme was developed by specialists of Atomstroyexport’s personnel management unit together with representatives of subsidiary construction organisations. To assess the level of professional skills of welders, heat assemblers and installers of reinforced concrete structures, production facilities allocated by the Ershovo Park Hotel have been equipped with the relevant equipment, tools and materials.

“The programme of incoming qualification control and assessment of working personnel will allow us to conduct high-quality selection and recruit candidates who have been shown to have the sufficient level of professional skills required to work at a foreign facility. In addition, workers undergo comprehensive medical examination and testing,” said Natalya Shafalovich, Atomstroyexport’s Vice President for Personnel and Internal Communications.

The training programme includes basic courses on labour protection and industrial safety standards. All types of practical training and full-time assessment of qualifications are carried out in accordance with the current anti-pandemic regime.

“Involvement of employees staying at quarantine site in training programmes and active communication with teachers and experts gives us the opportunity to raise the level of professional competence of employees, and to promptly prepare them for work on foreign projects. In addition, we have significantly reduced the emotional discomfort of employees associated with the forced pre-flight quarantine period,” explained Alexander Chegodaev, HR Director of subsidiary construction organisations at Atomstroyexport.

 After the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the training complex at the Ershovo Park Hotel will continue to work as an assessment and training centre for workers leaving for foreign NPP construction sites.