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in the USSR, a vocational-technical educational institution of the type that existed in the 1940’s and 1950’s; trade schools were designed to train skilled workers for industry, transportation, communications, agriculture, and other sectors of the economy. There were several types of trade schools in prerevolutionary Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including trade schools proper, schools for trade apprentices, lower trade schools, and rural training workshops. In 1910 there were more than 1,900 such schools with 90,300 students. Most of the institutions were financed from donations.
In the USSR during the 1920’s and 1930’s, there were schools for apprenticeship in industry. In 1940 they were reorganized as trade schools in accordance with the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR entitled On State Labor Reserves (Oct. 2, 1940). The trade schools were designed to train skilled workers for metallurgy, metalworking, the chemical industry, mining, the petroleum industry, communications enterprises, the maritime and river fleets, agriculture, and other fields. They admitted young people between the ages of 14 and 17, usually after seven years of education. The term of study in most trade schools was two to three years, and students received state support. In 1959 the trade schools were converted into vocational-technical schools.
I. G. KOVALENKO