Labour minister visits construction firms


13-July-2012

Minister Alexander was accompanied on her visits to the Island Construction and Laxmambhai companies by senior members of her management, including principal secretary Veronique Bresson.

Her meeting with the Island Construction management team touched on topics like best practices, constraints, weaknesses and strengths.

Job opportunities were also discussed and Minister Alexander remarked that construction is a field that does not have as many Seychellois as could have been.
“With an institution already training young people to join this industry, we need to establish how we can bring more of them into this sector,” she said.

The delegation then visited the site on Francis Rachel Street where the new Islamic Mosque is being built.

Minister Alexander talking to some Island Construction workers at the site where the new Islamic Mosque is being built

“Although the number of foreign workers is much higher than Seychellois, I am happy to have seen the presence of students from the Seychelles Institute of Technology,” Ms Alexander said.

“After talking to them and asking about the relevance of what they learn in class, compared to what goes on at construction sites, I was told that their theory classes is very much relevant to the practical sessions they have when on attachment,” the minister said.

During the visit there, a number of foreign workers talked to the minister and aired their grievances, such as lack of safety working equipment like boots, gloves, helmets and vests, and also irregularities in salary payments.

Such grievances were borne out by workers moving about on site with no safety equipment.
With a language barrier making understanding the situation more difficult, Minister Alexander promised to have the matter looked into.

“Although we have labour inspectors screening companies, we have lots of workplaces to cover and since the start of the year to date we have covered around 664 companies. We have had similar reports and we have taken note of their names to see if they are the same people who have submitted reports to our offices. An investigation will be done in the matter,” she said.

A visit was also made to the Laxmambhai construction company, where she also met the management. The delegation then visited a housing project that the company is carrying out at Ile Perseverance.

Minister Alexander discussing with Laxmambhai's management team

Minister Alexander said her ministry will continue to work closely with the construction industry as well as with the other industries in Seychelles to ensure the well-being of all workers in Seychelles.

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