Minister kick-starts series of workplace visits for this year


To mark this occasion, the minister visited two establishments located on Praslin, namely the Raffles Hotel and the Seychelles Petroleum Company (Sepec) depot on Eve Island.

As was the case last year, the aims of the visits are for the ministry to familiarise itself with the workings of the private sector while at the same time building and maintaining a strong relationship by ensuring that the employment laws of Seychelles are being observed.

Minister Alexander, accompanied by several high officials from her ministry, visited the Raffles Hotel first where they were greeted by the director for human resources Walter Borosa, and the assistant human resources manager Abhishek Anand.

Minister Alexander and her team discussing with management staff of the Raffles resort

The ministerial delegation was taken on a guided tour of the different departments at the resort.

During her visit, Minister Alexander had the opportunity to speak to a trainee on the Skills Acquisition Programme, which is one of the programmes offered by the ministry.
According to Mr Borosa, the trainee is performing above the required standard and will be employed by the hotel at the end of her training in mid March.

A number of staff raised the issues of lack of manpower, working hours, overtime payment, favouritism on the part of the foreign workers and equal opportunities for career advancement for the Seychellois staff. However, the majority of staff members present during the tour said that they were very happy with their current work conditions.

“I can see that you have a lot of great ideas to promote staff retention such as the staff day care facilities,” said the minister to Mr Borosa, urging him to continue to come up with new incentives.

At the end of her visit, the minister spoke of the importance of ensuring that staff welfare is taken into consideration and that regular communication with the staff is a key factor in ensuring this.

The ministerial delegation interacting with staff at the resort

She also spoke of her localisation plan which will be launched next month and is aimed at reducing the number of expatriates working in positions that can be occupied by Seychellois.
Mr Borosa assured her that, with the ministry’s assistance, he aims to reduce the staff ratio of foreigners to locals from 60/40 to 50/50 in 2013.

In line with concerns raised, the minister advised him to take the necessary steps, as outlined in the employment laws of Seychelles, to remedy these problems and that the ministry will provide regular visits to ensure that this is achieved.

The minister ended by urging the staff to work hard and be more productive while performing their duties.
Mr Borosa thanked the minister and her officials for visiting the resort and said that he is eager to work closely with the ministry to find a way forward.
He said he is open to cooperation with the NHRDC (National Human Resource Development Council) where staff training is concerned. 

For the second visit, the ministerial delegation went to the Sepec depot located on Eve Island. There, they were welcomed by the company’s chief executive officer Conrad Benoiton and the depot superintendent Maurice Mancienne.

The visit began with a meeting in which Mr Benoiton said that Sepec places a lot of emphasis on training, whether they are conducted locally or overseas.
He also stated that the training and retention of cadets is a problem and as such they have had to revise their training plan.

The minister informed Mr Benoiton that he can pool resources with the ministry and the NHRDC to come up with solutions to these problems and that the involvement of the Maritime Training Centre would be very crucial.

Mr Benoiton and Mr Mancienne then guided the delegation on a tour of the operations and the services offered by the depot.
Minister Alexander took time to speak to the depot staff to see what their concerns were. A few expressed that there should be more staff to help particularly with the operative side and the need for a raise in their salary.

Visiting the Sepec depot on Eve Island

The concerns of the staff were put forward by the minister in the debriefing meeting. 
Mr Benoiton said they are having problems with recruiting new staff on Praslin, particularly security guards. The minister assured Mr Benoiton that the ministry will do all it can to assist him with the issue of recruitment.

In line with the government’s announcement that salaries in the public sector will be increased as from July 1 this year, Mr Benoiton said that Sepec is prepared to increase their staff salaries based on this government raise.

Mr Benoiton thanked the ministerial delegation for coming to visit the depot and said that he looked forward to having a long and productive relationship with the ministry.