Export deal in Mozambique for Mindmill in Carrickfergus

Mindmill, the Carrickfergus-based company specialising in recruitment profiling technology, has won business in Mozambique with help from Invest Northern Ireland.

The company is assisting a major international client to identify suitable employees, through the use of its specialist testing methodology and software, for a new coal mine being developed by leading international mining operations in Tete, the largest city on the Zambezi River and capital of the province, which has huge coal reserves.

Laing Mewhort, Mindmill’s Chief Executive Officer, announced the Mozambique contract which was welcomed by Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI’s Trade Director.

Dr Kell said: “Mindmill’s success in Mozambique is an excellent example of how Invest NI’s export analysis and support can assist companies in exploring opportunities in this huge marketplace and neighbouring nations.

“Mindmill has been very active in South Africa and has used our support mechanisms, including trade missions to develop a network of business contacts which now look to the Northern Ireland company for expert advice and support on staff recruitment and promotion.

“The company has also recognised that South Africa is the perfect springboard to other developing markets in the region including Mozambique. Overall South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa is vast marketplace with immense potential for companies who strategically plan how to exploit the opportunities.”

Additional Invest NI support includes capability development of various operational functions within the business and also R&D support to upgrade to a ‘Software as a Service’ model which is web enabled and cloud based, giving the company a competitive edge and allowing it to compete successfully in international markets.

Mr Mewhort said: “We followed up a number of leads after our participation on the Invest NI trade mission, including Adcorp in Johannesburg, and were successful in winning initial business from them for the mining operation in Mozambique, which is a new market for us.

“Adcorp is one of the biggest recruitment businesses in Sub Saharan Africa and has been commissioned to identify around 280 local people to train as apprentices, as part of the government’s focus on developing the skill base in Mozambique. The local government requires that companies developing business in Mozambique must recruit at least 80 per cent of personnel locally.

“Our engagement with Adcorp will result in the development of a profiling software programme that will enable it to test and select the 280 people best suited to be trained as apprentices and be employed in various roles in the mine in Tete, a landlocked province between Malawi and Zimbabwe which is reported to have the world’s largest untapped coal reserves.

“We secured the business because of our growing international reputation in the development of bespoke software systems for employee profiling. It follows other contracts already won in South Africa and other international markets including the Middle East.

“The advice and practical support that we have received from Invest NI over many years has enabled us to expand our exports which now provides around 60 per cent of our overall business. We anticipate further business in South Africa and other global markets from companies keen to ensure they have the right people in roles which they are equipped to perform,” he added.