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Monday, 25 February 2013 16:06

Ministerial visit to Raffles Hotel and the Seychelles Petroleum Depot on Praslin

On Friday 22nd February 2013, the Minister for Labour and Human Resource Development, Ms Idith Alexander, launched the first of a series of visits to various workplaces planned for this year. To mark this occasion, the Minister opted for another first by visiting two establishments located on Praslin, namely the Raffles Hotel and the Seychelles Petroleum Praslin Depot on Eve Island.

 

The aims of the visits remain the same, for her Ministry to familiarize 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 the 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, Mr Walter Borosa and the Assistant Human Resources Manager, Mr Abhishek Anand. The Ministerial delegation was taken on a guided tour of the different Departments at the resort.

 

During her visit, she had the opportunity to speak to a trainee on the Skills Acquisition Program, which is one of the programs offered by the Ministry, who is performing above the required standard according to Mr Borosa 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 who were present during our 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 and she encouraged 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. She also spoke of her Localization 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 the 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 co-operation with the NHRDC where staff training is concerned.

For the second visit, the Ministerial delegation went to the Seychelles Petroleum Company (SEPEC) Praslin Depot located on Eve Island. Here, they were welcomed by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Conrad Benoiton and the Depot Superintendent, Mr 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 provided a tour of the operations and the services offered by the Depot. Minister Alexander took the 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.

 

The concerns of the staff were put forward by the Minister in the debriefing meeting. Mr Benoiton stated that 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. Minister Alexander pointed out that the government will increase salaries as of 1st of July this year. Mr Benoiton explained that SEPEC is prepared to raise their staff salaries based in the increment introduced by the government.

Mr Benoiton on his part 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.

END

 

Editor’s Note

The Praslin Depot, which was officially opened on 31st March 2010, is made up of a fuel depot consisting of four fuels tanks, capacities 950 cubic metres, 750 cubic metres, 550 cubic metres, 100 cubic metres, one truck loading gantry, a gasoil pipeline from depot to three bunker points on new Quay on Eve Island and PUC power station and one LPG depot consisting of four above ground tanks of capacities 2 x 50 cubic metres and 2 x 45 cubic metres with a cylinder filling plant and a truck loading point. The Depot employs 19 workers including 5 security guards and is equipped with fire fighting facilities as per NFPA requirement with a sea water backup system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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