Aiming to boost the share of Pakistan in global apparel trade, Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) and Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) recently organized a one-day workshop titled 'Skills Need Assessment for the Garment Sector' to identify areas lacking skilled manpower.
PRGMEA Chairman Sajid Saleem Minhas said Pakistani garment industry, which has an annual export turnover of around US$ 4 billion, is likely to earn generalized system of preference (GSP) Plus status from January 2014, which would earn it a wider access to the EU markets. However, with around 90 percent of the industry facing dearth of skilled manpower, it would become difficult to fully tap the opportunity.
However, PSDF Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ali Sarfraz said having realized the potential of the apparel industry in boosting national exports, Punjab government is determinate to resolve the dearth of skilled workers for this sector and has formed a core committee.
Several working groups under a committee headed by Dr. Ijaz Nabi, special adviser to Punjab government and Irfan Elahi, chairman of the Planning and Development Board Punjab, are trying to assess the manpower requirement of various industries, he added.
Mr. Sarfraz said several organizations like PRGMEA, Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA), Punjab Vocational Training Council and renowned garment exporters are supporting PSDF in undertaking the need assessment.
Based on recommendations of these working groups, the committee would frame a draft policy to address the issue and place the draft policy before the state Chief Minister for his approval.
Mr. Sarfraz also added that Guild UK, Edexcel UK and well-known Turkish institutions have agreed to impart skill training to aspirants and award certificates to those who successfully complete the training.