Case Studies

Express Support Services Angola

Express Support Services Limitada (Express Angola), is a joint venture of Catering Express Limitada, Angola and Compass (PLC) Group, UK, providing catering and facilities management in the energy sector in Angola. The company’s services include remote site, oil and gas, offshore, and construction operations. 


Express Angola first asked Intrepidus to provide HR leadership in 2005 when it entered into a facilities management contract with Chevron Oil and Gas in the Cabinda province of Angola. Later on, Intrepidus was requested to support a rapid expansion (doubling) of the business in 2009 when Express gained a greenfield facilities management contract with Bechtel corporation. Bechtel was building a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) plant near the Zaire River in Soyo province, Angola, for Chevron and the Angolan government.

Intrepidus Human Resource Consulting filled the role of HR Director from 2009 until 2012. During that period, Express Angola employed over 2,300 national and 150 foreign staff with a T/O of 140M. 

Design • Implement • Support

Intrepidus Human Resource Consulting assisted Express Angola in establishing its local and expatriate workforce from a skeleton staff initially drawn from its Cabinda and Luanda based operations. A major and vital part of the assignment was to recruit HR staff made up entirely of Angolan nationals who were trained to provide on-going best practice, world-class HR support, independently of Intrepidus’ presence.

Indeed, all expatriate roles were required to have a succession and development plan which would allow for the roles to eventually be taken over by Angolan nationals. This was a very important way to assist in the development of the country, following a long civil war that had raged for over 25 years.

Intrepidus developed a five-year rolling strategic HR plan in support of the business plan. Intrepidus identified, recruited and provided senior HR staff with specialist responsibilities ranging from talent management, recruitment, attraction and retention, to labour/industrial relations and immigration. Further specialists were needed for remuneration, including job sizing and banding, as well as payroll, learning and development, along with generalist HR site support.

Intrepidus prepared Express Angola’s strategy for its first labour agreement in line with Angolan labour law. This involved not only understanding the local labour laws, but also the local customs and how the union movement operated within the country.

When developing national staff, it was imperative to operate according to internationally recognised standards. Intrepidus introduced competency based training, utilising international qualifications frameworks aligned to the Australian AQF standards, along with UK City and Guilds and the South African equivalent. This was a great asset for winning tender bids with multinational and local companies alike.  Intrepidus arranged for international (including Australian) trainers to come to Angola to support and train the local HR team, senior managers and the general workforce in all aspects of hospitality and facilities management.

Intrepidus assisted the Remuneration and Benefits Manager to develop an enterprise-wide remuneration strategy that included remuneration (salary range and grouping, benefits and incentives) and performance management strategies ranging from the Senior Executive Leadership Group to the general workforce.

We attended many international career fairs in Africa and Europe to source and repatriate experienced Angolan nationals, as well as to become the predominant hospitality recruiter in Angola.

Intrepidus developed effective relationships at senior level with the Angolan Departments of Labour, Hospitality and Immigration, who were considered to be vital stakeholders in the development activities of Express Support Services.

The Result

As a result of Intrepidus’ HR leadership, the HR function of Express Support Services became effective and agile, delivering HR strategic and operational support with a team made up of 100% Angolan national staff.

The HR team developed in Angola was equal to that of any equivalently sized company in Australia. Many of the key team members have since progressed to senior HR roles within large multinationals operating in Angola.

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