Local Content DG Urges Companies to Prioritise Employment of Sierra Leoneans - Sierra Leone News

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Local Content DG Urges Companies to Prioritise Employment of Sierra Leoneans

In other to create job opportunities in the country, the Director General of Sierra Leone Local Content Agency (SLLCA), Mr Fodeba Daboh has stressed, during the Work Permit Meeting and Work Permit Interviews, that companies need to give first consideration to Sierra Leoneans for employment before looking for experts.

The work permit committee meeting which was held on Thursday in the conference hall of the Ministry of Labour conference Hall in Freetown attracted representatives from the SLLCA, Immigration Department, Sierra Leone Labour Congress, Ministry of Labour and Sierra Leone Association of Non-Governmental Organisation (SLANGO), among others. After the meeting, a work permit interview was conducted. But some companies were absent whilst some of those present did not form a quorum which made the committee to defer their interviews.

The Miro Forestry (SL) Limited and the Terranova Solutions were interviewed. But the Sierra Rutile Ltd/ ILuka interview was postponed because majority of their 23 staff who were to be interviewed were absent. The committee told the companies to submit their various job advertisements so that they will know the requirement for the managerial positions.

In approving the granting of the license application, the Committee will consider whether the person has a valid passport or other travelling documents, which establishes to its satisfaction his identity and nationality; whether there are no Sierra Leonean workers who are able, willing, qualified and available to take and perform the work for which the application has been made; whether the granting of the permit will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of Sierra Leoneans working in the organization; and whether the applicant has not laid off any employees within the period of three months prior to the application unless the action is justified, among others.

The Committee shall, when satisfied with the application, approve the grant of a permit to the person and submit it for the signature of the Minister of Labour.

During the Work Permit meeting, the Committee said that the policy guideline on the mode of recruitment is that Sierra Leoneans should be given first consideration, adding that if there is no Sierra Leonean qualified for such job, then the company will now employ a foreign national, adding that member States in the Mano River Union should also be considered.

They stated that they want to see how companies will train Sierra Leoneans so that they will be fit to handle technical positions in every company that operates in the country.

Mr Daboh disclosed that, according to the SLLCA Act of 2016, an operator or contractor shall make an application to, and receive the approval of the Agency before making any application for an expatriate quota to the Minister responsible for Labour or any other ministry, department or agency of the Government of Sierra Leone.

He added that the application shall include: job titles; description of responsibilities; the duration of the proposed employment in Sierra Leone; the curriculum vitae of the expatriate staff; the remuneration, allowances and other emoluments of the expatriate staff; evidence of advertisements or other publications of the job openings including the job description; justification for the hiring of the expatriate staff; and any other information required by the Work Permit Committee established under section 34B of the General Law Business Start Up Act 2007, for the purposes of implementing this Act.

For the sake of collaboration, he said whenever companies go to the National Revenue Authority, they usually asked the companies if they have certificate of authorization.

The other committee members stated that the Labour Act also makes provision for companies to apply to them. Mr Daboh however, recommended that there is need to review the laws dealing with the application of companies so that it will be harmonized for clarity.

During the work permit interviews, Mr Daboh emphasized the need for companies to prioritize Sierra Leoneans for employment opportunities.

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