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Russian Pollock Plant hosts All-Russian Professionals Championship

Aspiring workers of the fishing industry from various regions of the country showcased their skills in a three-day competition.

The qualifying round of the All-Russian Professionals Championship, focusing on the Processing of Aquatic Bioresources skill, took place from August 12 to 14 at the Russian Pollock Plant, part of the Russian Fishery Company (RFC). Students from 10 regions across the country, aspiring to build their careers in the fishing industry, vied for the title of masters in their field. They were provided with a realistic environment and challenging practical tasks, ranging from fish fillet production to smoking.

In 2023, the All-Russian Professionals Championship stages will be conducted across all regions of the Russian Federation. Students and schoolchildren nationwide are showcasing their skills in 248 key skills, including the Processing of Aquatic Bioresources. The venue for the qualifying round of this skill was provided by the competition partner, the Russian Fishery Company (RFC), a leading producer of pollock products in Russia and globally, and a flagship of the Far East fishing industry.

"The Young Professionals Championship in the Processing of Aquatic Bioresources skill holds significantimportance for our region and the entire country. This championship fosters the growth of maritime professions, encourages learning from the best, and promotes the adoption of cutting-edge practices. The Russian Fishery Company, focusing on strategic development, places special emphasis on creating conditions to attract and retain top talent. We are committed to providing modern, comfortable, safe automated workplaces at our plant and on our vessels."

Elena Kupriyanova, Project Manager for New Business Unit Development at RFC

Students from 10 regions of Russia participated in the competition held at the Russian Pollock plant. In abid to demonstrate their expertise and share their experiences, many were willing to cross thousands of kilometers.

"Our platform brought together individuals from all corners: from the Kaliningrad region to the Kamchatka region. Currently enrolled in secondary vocational education, they all came to showcase their abilities. The participants were assessed by expert mentors from various regions, along with independent experts from the Russian Fishery Company. The championship aim aligns with its name: to discover professionals in the Processing of Aquatic Bioresources skill."

Vera Smirnova, Principal Expert

"Promoting the profession among the youth is one of the key objectives of the Russian Fishery Company. Hence, we actively collaborate with educational institutions that train personnel for the fishing industry in our region and across the country, and we support young professionals. In line with this objective, we have partnered with the All-Russian Professionals Championship. Our preparation for the competition spanned approximately a month. We have created the participant venue that complies to all production and sanitary standards, supplied professional equipment and raw materials for work, and conducted preliminary safety, personal hygiene, and occupational safety briefings."

Denis Sazonov, Venue Administrator

We prepared five modules for the competitors, each with its own task. For the first Production of Chilledand Frozen Products module, the contestants were tasked with processing pollock carcasses to yield 5 kg of clean, high-quality fillets within four hours. A 22-year-old participant from the Sakhalin region completed the task in almost half the time, outpacing all others.

"I believe the sole secret to speed is practice honed daily. I spent virtually the entire summer preparing for the competition, training as a processing sailor. I was eager to gain experience from participating in such a prestigious championship and to test my abilities. All of this will be beneficial for my future, as I plan to pursue a career as a process engineer and work in the fishery industry."

Angelina Lapynina

The participant from the Kaliningrad region also finished the task among the first. Just like Angelina, he wishes to continue his professional journey after graduating from college.

"I am in my fourth year at the Kaliningrad Industrial Fisheries College. Upon graduation, I aspire to work at the fishing collective farm called For the Motherland in our town. It is actually a fascinating industry with endless opportunities for growth. I came to the championship to observe how participants from different regions work, to understand their unique techniques, and to challenge myself with the complex task of processing pollock. I have not had the chance to deal with this fish before. This is an extremely valuable and useful experience for me."

Fyodor Panfilov

The participants were judged not only on their work speed and commendable outcomes. Throughout the course of the module, the experts monitored the contestants' adherence to technology and their behavior in the workplace.

"We took into account a multitude of factors, including the participants' workflow. Because it is duringthe process that one can gauge a participant's preparedness, level of experience, and ability to utilize their knowledge. It is fair to state that some contestants truly excelled in their tasks. However, many were impacted by the stress factor."

Aleksandr Bonk, Expert

Following the fillet production, the participants moved on to the Production of Semi-Finished and Culinary Products module, where they prepared pollock patties. On the subsequent day, the championship participants ventured into preparing canned pollock and herring, with the competition culminating in the cold and hot smoking of a pollock carcass.

The Professionals Championship has three stages: regional, qualifying, and finals. The championship projects are agreed upon with the region's leading employers, who anticipate hosting internships for thewinners and runners-up post-championship.

Photograph: PrimaMedia IA

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