We work with governments and the nearby communities to maximize local employment opportunities. We are also very active in enhancing local skill development in order to maximize future growth opportunities, capacity and retention. We believe such efforts have a long term positive benefit on society in which we operate in.
In 2016, local Eritreans made up 92% of our employees in Eritrea (90% in 2015). The slight change from 2015 is primarily due to the need to increase local worker expertise during the zinc-production capital expansion project, as well as internal promotions where locals replaced traditionally held expat roles.
For more information on employment practices click here for BMSC's Corporate Codes and Policies.
BMSC enforces a policy of preferential hiring for local candidates. Where sufficient skills do not exist, Bisha provides vocational training at the Bisha Training Centre and in the adjacent community - Mogoraib. The Bisha Training Centre was completed in 2013 and further expanded in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, several advances were made to the BMSC Training Center's Engineering modles. The Bisha Training Centre aligns itself with maximizing opportunities for Eritreans as a means to enhance the mine's localization program. Training of local Eritreans will enable them to gradually assume greater levels of responsibilities, receive increased remuneration, and to seize other career opportunities at Bisha or other mining ventures in the country down the road. Despite the emphasis on local employment, some expatriate specialists are still required where specific skills are unavailable in country. These specialists will train local personnel with the intention to eventually replace the expatriates and independently sustain operations.
The range of benefits we provide to employees at Bisha are as follows:
Above average wages - Our Eritrean employees are paid higher wages than the national average. There is no difference between basic salary/remuneration of women compared to that of men. The same salary scale applies to all employees irrespective of gender. For full-time individuals whom live in the nearby villages, a housing allowance is provided as well. Expatriates are provided competitive international salaries and annual bonuses based on their specialist skill set. The company does not provide a defined benefit plan to employees;
Meals & Lodging - All employees are provided with three full meals a day with unlimited rations. Healthy choices are served which include chicken, beef, pork, or fish dishes with salads, fruit, breads and different types of desert options. Purified water, fruit juices, tea, and coffee are also readily available. For all of our employees that reside on-site, there is no charge for accommodation. These housing facilities include a private or shared large bedroom with private bathrooms, furniture, air-conditioning, mosquito netting, television, and internet service. Laundry services are provided daily to all employees. Employees also have access to the on-site gym as well as numerous recreational activities;
Medical services - All of our employees as well as contractors and subcontractors receive medical services from our internationally and nationally trained Eritrean medical staff. The medical facility is located right near our administration office and can be accessed throughout the day and any nighttime emergencies. The medical facility also has a standby ambulance available for more serious injuries that need to be treated off-site. In addition, the medical facility now includes a dental clinic as well as a physiotherapist. All of our permanent and temporary employees have life insurance coverage;
Maternity leave - All maternity costs are reimbursable at a rate of 100% upon presentation of the hospital bills, medical certificate and receipts. We provide our female employees with paid leave off for 5 days before and 5 days after delivery and 60 days thereafter;
To/From Home - Our workers come from far and wide and as such we provide transportation to/from the capital city of Asmara to the Bisha mine site some 4 hours away. In addition, we provide daily bus transportation to/from nearby villages and camp locations to the work site several times a day. This enables our employees, contractors, and subcontractors to get to the work place in a safe and reliable manner. Our buses have comfortable seats and air-conditioning and we have numerous buses to avoid any issue of overcrowding. Several of the buses carry workers to their respective camp locations during lunch hours where workers enjoy a 1-2 hour break in the middle of the day;
Professional development - all of our workers have the ability to grow and prosper at our operations. We have undertaken training courses at our operation and in a nearby community to build up local capacity. Our new trade school was completed in 2013 to provide even more opportunities for classroom and field based experiences to enable employee growth.