|Last updated: 22-Oct-2003 17:42||NATO Update|
NATO-Russian resettlement centre a success
In a statement issued on 15 October, the NATO-Russia Council recognised the significant achievements of a joint NATO-Russia project, which seeks to tackle the social costs of downsizing in the Russian military.
The project provides discharged military personnel throughout Russia with a focal point for retraining and reintegration assistance.
Founded in June 2001 and operational since March 2002, the NATO-Russia Information, Consultation and Training Centre is based at the Moscow State University of Economics, Statistics and Information Science. In 2003, the Centre expanded its activities into the regions, establishing local offices in Yaroslavl, St. Petersburg, Chita, Perm, Kaliningrad and Rostov on Don.
A central web site and six regional web sites have been set up to provide information on retraining, job counselling and placement, setting up small businesses, housing and other subjects relevant to reintegrating into civilian life. Educational and training material has also been developed and distributed. And six seminars on retraining issues have been organised over the past 18 months in different regions of Russia.
The Centre trains trainers working in the resettlement of military personnel on topics such as relevant legislation, available programmes, the employment market and the creation of small businesses. Already, the Centre has trained 210 trainers who are now actively engaged in resettlement activities. Moreover, in 2003, the Centre initiated direct training of discharged military personnel in areas such as computer skills, management and accounting, with some 200 students having participated in courses to date.
The Centre is part of a wider programme of cooperation in defence reform – a
key priority for Russia and NATO member countries.