Staff training in successful branch of national economy

Belarus’ automobile services continue to bring in foreign currency revenue for the state
By Tatiana Sergeeva

According to Belarus’ balance of payments, exports of transport services generated $444m from January-May, 2013: up 16 percent on the same period of 2012. Moreover, the figure was achieved despite Belarus’ major trading partners experiencing an economic downturn. Naturally, international competition in the branch is rising yet, last year, transport services made over $1bn of profit.

The Chairman of BAMAP Association, Nikolay Borovoy, speaking at the opening of a BAMAP-VEDY training class, in Mogilev, noted, “Our results are primarily owing to the high level of training for drivers and specialists.” Such classes operate across all regional centres, ensuring countrywide transport-related training. Mogilev has been the last to benefit, due to having less traffic than the Minsk, Grodno or Brest regions. According to the Association, just 5 percent of all transport vehicles in the Republic are registered in the area.

“There’s no urgent need for personnel, as only a small share of our transport is involved in conveyance. Drivers used to move to Russia but are now returning home. We need to look to the future so we’re offering theoretical and practical training. All regional carriers will be able to gather at our centre, to discuss the most acute problems,” notes Mogilevvneshtrans’ Director, Mikhail Larchenko.

A modern international driver has quite different skills to 10 or 5 years ago. “The ability to drive is a matter of course. However, legal aspects also matter, as do cultural and educational issues, responsibility and a knowledge of geography and foreign languages,” explains Mr. Larchenko. “You need to be able to communicate with law enforcement and customs officials.” In addition, international drivers are the ‘face’ of a company, with 90 percent of success relying on their ability to build relations with customers, win their confidence and ensure fulfilment of obligations.

Many funds are being invested in training international drivers and specialists but, as Mr. Borovoy asserts, the results are worthwhile. Competition for transport related vacancies should grow significantly in the near future. 
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