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Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Marcinkevičius, Andrius
Title: Rusų profesinė veikla Kaune 1918–1940 m.: įgūdžių pritaikymo galimybės ir kliūtys
Other Title: Labour activity of Russians in Kaunas (1918-1940): opportunities and obstacles for adaptation of skills
Is part of: Kauno istorijos metraštis, 2013, nr. 13, p. 189-203
Date: 2013
Keywords: Rusai;Rusų imigrantai;Kaunas;Darbo rinka;Profesinė veikla;Įsidarbinimo galimybės;Įgūdžių pritaikymas;Russians;Russian immigrants;Labour market;Labour activity;Employment opportunities;Adaptation of skills
Abstract: In the 1920s, ethnic minorities, especially professionals, could successfully compete in various segments of the labour market since Lithuanian society lacked educated elites and workers. In this period, Russians, both citizens and immigrants, could find employment in public and private institutions of Kaunas, doing both intellectual (i.e. public servants, lawyers, teachers, artists, etc.) and physical (construction, industrial, transport, etc.) work. Although Russians who had Lithuanian citizenship had fewer legal difficulties in finding employment, they often lacked the necessary skills that migrants from the Soviet Russia possessed. The position of Russians in the labour market also depended on the interests and readiness of the ethnic majority to provide employment opportunities for members of ethnic minorities and immigrants. The Lithuanian government was interested in the quick preparation of Lithuanian professionals and creation of favourable conditions for their employment. This tendency became especially evident after the 1926 coup d’état. Providing employment opportunities for immigrants from other countries did not fit well with the increasingly nationalistic political program of the Lithuanian government. Foreign professionals were employed in state institutions only when no local specialists could be found (the prime examples of such employment were Russian ballet artists in the State Theatre and academics at Vytautas Magnus University). In the 1930s, employment opportunities for ethnic minorities and immigrants started to diminish. Economic immigrants started to be treated as an unnecessary work force that reduced employment opportunities for Lithuanians, while jobs in public service were mostly offered only to Lithuanians. Russians in Kaunas had to turn to the private sector for employment, where they had to compete with Jewish or Germans who had secured strong positions in trade and industry even before Word War I. Russian employment possibilities also depended on their ability to adjust to the Lithuanian cultural environment. Especially important was the ability to learn the Lithuanian language since the level of knowledge of the language often determined employment possibilities. In the 1930s, weak knowledge of the Lithuanian language was already considered an impediment to productive work in many state institutions. Lack of employment opportunities in Lithuania led some Russians to consider emigration.
Appears in Collections:Kauno istorijos metraštis 2013, nr. 13

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