In 2017, Aluprogress a.s. had an average of 445 noncontingent workers. As at 31 December 2017, the Company recorded 433 employees, of which 294 men and 139 women. The employee breakdown was 251 direct labor, 80 indirect labor and 102 administrative staff. The average age was 38.4, of which men 38.1 and women 39.8. At year-end, we had 3 employees under 20 years of age and 26 employees over 60. The staff turn- over rate was 15.8%. The sickness absence rate of noncontingent staff was 8.7%. Average gross salary for the year under review was CZK 27,539. In addition to our non-contingent workers, the Company had on average 18 temporary workers assigned by employment agencies. We have worked with ManpowerGroup since 2011 and in 2016 we executed an agree- ment with the Adecco employment agency to assist us with our staffing needs. Contingent workers supplied by agencies primarily fill in for non-contingent staff who are on long-term sickness leave.
The Company spent more than CZK 1,000 thousand on employee benefits, primarily work anniversary bonuses (CZK 169 thousand), season tickets for leisure activities (3 thousand), contributions to food allowances and preventive workplace medical care. A large por tion is represented by supplementary pension insurance contributions (CZK 877 thousand). Some CZK 2,600 thousand of the total amount constitutes the cost of sick days benefit provided to employees.
We place great emphasis on staff training and education, which is primarily focused on specialized courses and seminars aimed at enhancing expertise and know-how. Employees were also offered language courses and in-house courses on quality management, workplace health and safety, fire safety and the environmental management system. A total of more than CZK 688 thousand was spent on staff training, excluding internal training. The cost of internal training is included in wages and salaries as it is considered loss of wages at the time of training. Such trainings are performed by internal lecturers from senior executives.