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  • Russian Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin

Maxim Topilin: Labour market solutions hinge on economic stimulation

Russian Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin spoke at a briefing about the results of the G20 Labour Ministers Meeting and Joint G20 Finance and Labour Ministers Meeting, both held during the Russian Presidency, as well as about interaction with trade union and business representatives.

Mr. Topilin highlighted the significance of the G20 Finance and Labour Ministers Meeting. "We know very well that labour market regulation, the creation of jobs, financial stability and the pace of economic growth are closely interconnected issues. Hence, they must be addressed as a package, and all countries need to find a balance between them," the Minister said. "It is clear that labour market issues cannot be resolved without stimulating the economy, creating jobs and increasing the demand for a labour force."

He also said that now the employment situation is quite good in Russia. However, the country needs to consider measures for introducing structural changes in employment, retraining the unemployed or the people who are willing to train for a new profession, and improving the quality of professional training. "It is one of the most important issues for the G20 countries and it was actively discussed at the meeting. For example, all countries are taking measures to ensure that members of the business community contribute to improving the quality of training," Mr. Topilin said.

The ministerial meetings also focused on pension reforms. "During the crisis many countries were forced to increase the retirement age and to encourage senior people to continue working, which has dramatically reduced the number of jobs available to young people and limited the advance of the younger generations onto the labour market," the Russian Minister said.

The ministers also discussed assistance measures for vulnerable groups of population which aim to stimulate their activity in the labour market, since many G20 countries have employment problems related to the natural ageing of their population and demographic imbalances.

In conclusion, the Russian Minister of Labour and Social Protection again highlighted the significance of dialogue between labour, employment and finance ministers. He said: "The joint meeting was an innovative element proposed during the Russian Presidency. This new idea turned out to be a success and we will continue to hold these discussions with a view to finding a balance amongst these issues."