December 2022 / News

The Importance of Local Labour Employment

A common thread across the Chelsea Group, local employment is widely practiced. From critical insight to community empowerment, high levels of local employment is a characteristic of several of the Group companies and, when accompanied by global expertise, is key to enabling high-quality service delivery. For enterprises looking to expand into unknown, potentially risky regions, local insights and knowledge are immensely important, allowing for a smoother transition as well as being culturally informed from the very beginning.

Sustainable Development Goals

Local employment is strongly linked to SDG 8, one of the key sustainable development goals supported within the Chelsea Group. SDG 8 advocates for Decent Work and Economic Growth, an essential goal in the fight against inequality. Employing locally has the potential to enhance economic growth, build national capacity and drive progress. The private sector has an undeniable role in advancing SDG 8, as this sector accounts for the majority of GDP in most countries as well as providing the most jobs.

 female engineers in Gaza

CTG employs many female engineers in Gaza, working on humanitarian and development projects.

Local insights for Hart International

While there is a shared focused on local employment, each company within the Chelsea Group has established their own levels of local employment and consistently work towards increasing these numbers as they grow. Risk management and security specialists Hart currently hold a global level of 38% local employment, with a 60% rate in their Somalia-based Hart Nationwide team. Head of HR Charlene Redfearn says the benefits of recruiting locally are many. “We boost the local economy by creating employment opportunities and training opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available. And in doing so we gain local insights,” she says. 

Long-term vision with Chelsea Village

For Costa Yiannakis, General Manager at Chelsea’s flagship secure accommodation site in Mogadishu, Chelsea Village, it’s all about furthering the country’s interests. “The work is a humanitarian and development process in itself,” he says. “The more national staff we have, the more people can learn and move onto speeding up economic development and quality of life in Somalia.” Costa goes on to explain a bit more of the long-term vision: “Part of our mandate is to work with national staff to take over our positions when the mission in-country is over.”

CTG and Shared Value

For HR specialists and humanitarian enablers, CTG, it’s about leaving an impact in the conflict-affected regions where they operate. Recruiting and managing humanitarian staff, CTG provides opportunities for secure and decent work whilst upholding high levels of local employment. At the same time SDG5, gender equality, is a key goal with CTG increasing the number of female candidates put forward to be considered for humanitarian roles.

They have consistently held at least a 90% rate of local staff since 2006, recently reaching an unprecedented level of 97% in 2022. CTG is also proud to have attained 100% local employment levels in Nigeria, where staff work in the more inaccessible regions of the country supporting projects such as Crisis Response and Migration Management, Vaccine Security Logistics, Child Protection, WASH and Health.

CTG staff and Facilitators

CTG staff and CTG Facilitators in Borno, Nigeria. CTG Regional Manager for West Africa Mary Ellen Havlik is front row, far right.

The Power of Hiring Local in Nigeria

Hiring local has proven to work in CTG’s favour in Nigeria, where the workforce is 100% Nigerian with most employees working in their State of origin. Regional Manager for West Africa Mary Ellen Havlik shares the advantages of this human resources strategy:

  • With high unemployment rates across the country, State Governments appreciate that CTG is providing their citizens with valuable work opportunities and remitting monthly PAYE taxes into the state coffers.
  • The local staff have been able to help build great local networks – if CTG needs people, goods or services in any state of local government area, they can assist.
  • The likelihood of cultural and language issues has been eliminated. Staff understand local customs, communicate easily and are welcome in the communities where we work
  • Security incidents are reduced – the employees understand the local terrain and know how to navigate it.  They are also able to share information and help CTG’s security team understand the background to various conflicts that occur

“Overall, we have successfully built a culturally-diverse workforce that appropriately represents the multitude of communities we work in across Nigeria,” says Mary Ellen.

Throughout the Chelsea Group, hiring locally has represented more than just the strategic and logistical advantages. Above everything, it supports the vision of rebuilding. We play a  small role in helping our clients realise their long-term goals and are honoured be a part of a much bigger story. The insights we have gained throughout the regions we work remain an indispensable asset, one we look forward to nurturing as we connect with more local communities around the world.