Requests for candidates with proficiency in the language topped pre-pandemic levels last year, a staffing agency reports
Russia has seen a significant increase in demand for Chinese-speaking workers over the past year, as Western sanctions led to a surge in trade between Moscow and Beijing, estimates from recruiting agency HeadHunter show.
According to the agency, in 2022 requests for workers with proficiency in Mandarin surged by 70% compared to 2021, and by 45% compared to pre-pandemic 2019.
In the period January to March this year the demand strengthened further, surging by 42% against the same period last year. Most of the requests for specialists with some command of Chinese are for vacancies in transport and logistics and in sales and manufacturing, with salaries ranging from 50,000 to 90,000 rubles ($650-$1,170), the agency said.
Another recruiting portal, SuperJob, reported that the number of vacancies that require applicants with Chinese doubled in 2022. The portal's analysts said it is currently the second most in-demand language in the Russian labor market, after English.
Analysts say that the demand for specialists who can speak Chinese was propelled by the growth in trade between the two countries. China has been a crucial economic partner for Russia in the face of intensifying Western sanctions, as Moscow has, over the past year been redirecting much of its foreign trade from Europe to Asia.
Trade turnover between Russia and China is on pace to hit $200 billion this year after jumping by double digits in the first two months. And, according to industry experts, joint ventures and trade projects need professionals that speak both languages fluently in order to grow further. However, analysts say that the wages Russian employers offer are currently too low to persuade more specialists to learn the language.
"We need people who, conditionally speaking, can find inexpensive goods on Alibaba, write to the supplier in Chinese and organize delivery. At the same time, employers do not understand what it costs to learn Chinese well, and so offer low wages," Sergei Lukonin of the Russian Academy of Sciences explains. Meanwhile, according to Lukonin, there is also growing interest among the Chinese in studying Russian, with roughly 10,000 students graduating every year with some command of the language.
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