The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) has inked an agreement with French international development agency - Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), for obtaining a loan of US$ 3.5 million to set up first garment training institute in the country.
As per the agreement the extended loan, with a 15-year repayment period, would be used to set up a garment training institute in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone in two years period.
The institute would impart skill training to country’s unskilled garment workers to prepare them for specialized jobs in apparel making and merchandising to alleviate the burden of high costs of hiring foreign workers.
Other young graduates interested in working at higher positions in the industry would also be imparted training at the institute.
Presently, most of the garment workers in Cambodia are unskilled, due to which they remain constrained to jobs like cutting cloth and sewing garments. Meanwhile, the industry needs to hire people from abroad for technical jobs and higher positions, by paying higher salaries.
Most of the skilled workers that Cambodian garment industry now employs come from Malaysia, China and the Philippines.
The institute would employ foreign technical experts to impart training, and would operate on a no-profit, no-loss basis. The fees would be charged to cover routine expenses and to ensure sustainability of the institute.
GMAC data shows that 500 garment factories, having a joint workforce of over 500,000 workers, are its registered members.
During first three quarters of the current year, Cambodia’s garment and textile exports grew to US$ 3.44 billion, up by around 10 percent from exports worth US$ 3.13 billion made during the corresponding period of last year.