Ministerial Visit to Stone Mills Bakery - PMC Group - Jean Mellie Farm
Minister of Employment, Immigration and Civil Status visits Stone Mill Bakery, PMC Group and Jean Mellie Farm
The Minister of Employment, Immigration and Civil Status, Mrs Myriam Telemaque, visited 3 Seychellois owned businesses on Friday 11th September as she continues with her programme to consolidate public private partnership, especially during this time as businesses face serious challenges in the wake of COVID-19. These businesses still have their doors open despite experiencing significant decline in revenue as a result of the pandemic. The Minister was accompanied by senior officers from her Ministry.
On her first stop, the Minister visited the Stone Mills Bakery situated at Providence Industrial Estate. The Bakery, which employs both locals and non-Seychellois, some of them with long years of service has kept on all its workers despite experiencing a downturn in business since having lost their main source of income from the Tourism industry. For now, the only change made was in relations to the workers’ shift in view that their operations have slowed down. They expressed their appreciation for the support being given to them by the government in terms of their local workers’ salary. Their plan is to keep going for as long as it takes so that they can realise their goal of expanding as they had planned to do before the COVID-19 struck.
The next business to be visited, also situated at Providence, was the PMC Group comprising of Autocare, Sun Motors PMC Auto and Spares. Having a good number of local workers in their employment, the visit allowed for better understanding of the Group’s operation and also to learn firsthand of the adverse effects COVID-19 is having on them. Currently the Group is experiencing some serious setbacks with PMC Auto, being their main business, completely at a standstill with the ban on imports in place since April as a result of the pandemic.
Despite their challenges, the Group has kept all its workers with the assistance of salary payment from the Government for the past few months. The Group employs a majority of locals some of them with long years of service. The only exception is Autocare with a high number of non-Seychellois which is the case because of their highly specialized function. It was encouraging to note that the Group employs a good number of graduates from SIT. One observation from a Seychellois heading one of the company within the Group was the need for meaningful investment to be made in SIT where modern technology is concerned to allow students to be trained according to the needs of the industry.
The Group plans to keep on board all of their workers as long as the situation does not deteriorate. The Minister took the opportunity of the visit to inform the Directors of the Group of the different schemes in place to keep our citizens productive during this time where job placements are scarce, to which the Group has shown their willingness to participate.
The final stop for the day was at Farm Jean Mellie’s at Au Cap. The farm has been in operation for a good number of years now. Same as with other businesses in that industry, the farm is facing some serious challenges in attracting local workers to join on a permanent basis. The workers that he does manage to get prefers to work on casual basis, an arrangement that he says does not always work for them. Given the nature of work and the fact that a farm requires constant attention, the industry is heavily reliant on Non-Seychellois workers.
Jean Mellie Farm