URALSK, West Kazakhstan oblast, 4 December 2002 -- Karachaganak Integrated Organisation (KIO), in conjunction with the Main Works Contractor CCC/Saipem and the WKO Akimat and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, has announced the opening of a new centre in Uralsk to assist in the re-employment of the temporary workforce leaving the Karachaganak project due to the completion of the construction phase.

According to KIO General Director John Morrow, "This is a new KIO and MWC initiative aimed at helping qualified construction personnel who have completed their work at Karachaganak to seek re-employment at other national and international projects.

A personalised English-Russian resume will be developed for each released worker and include all individual qualifications and skills that have been acquired throughout the construction phase of the Karachaganak project. These resumes will be then incorporated into the new Uralsk centre database as well as posted onto the web-site of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, free to be accessed by any company in Kazakhstan or internationally seeking new qualified employees. The office representatives will also work closely with other major projects both in Kazakhstan and overseas in order to attempt to place the workforce at alternative employers.

The creation of the new centre has been supported by the WKO Akimat, NOC "KazMunaiGas" and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Kazakhstan.

Chris Bookless, KIO Demobilisation Programme representative, stated: "The Uralsk centre will work in close contact with, and report to the Akimat and Oblast Department of Labour and Social Protection. As a responsible citizen we see that our task is helping people as much as we can to find a new job".

WKO authorities are also taking a great part in setting up a new office in Uralsk to re-deploy the temporary Karachaganak workforce. Askar Nurgaliev, Deputy Oblast Akim stated: "at the moment, the Oblast Akimat is assisting the centre in directing the free workforce at other regional construction projects, such as the rehabilitation of the Uralsk-Atyrau road and development of the Fyodorofskoe field in West Kazakhstan".

The temporary worker demobilisation itself also includes additional alleviation measures. As CCC/Saipem’s Managing Director, Dimitri Economides said: "An agreement was reached with the Unions that the temporary workforce will receive two months average salary compensation. This can serve as start-up capital for those who want to be engaged in entrepreneurial activities".

Commenting on the opening of the centre, Svetlana Anischenko, Head of the Oblast Department of Labour and Social Protection stated: " I think we should be able to successfully fulfil this programme".

The temporary workforce demobilisation programme is planned to take place and is expected to be completed by mid 2004.