GEN-PROM aims to enhance skills of garment workers
Gender Promotion through Skills Development in the Clothing/Garment Sector, or GEN-PROM, is a five year UNDP initiative. It aims at enhancing the skill level of garment and sewing industry workers so that this important backbone industry of Pakistan can survive the tough challenges of global competition. The project is targeted at reducing unemployment while simultaneously increasing much needed skilled workforce efficiency for the garment industry.
GEN-PROM aims at building the capacity of sewing factories to train a workforce using state-of-the-art curriculum and expert technical Master Trainers (MTs). The project provides training to workers in the areas of cutting, stitching, finishing, packing, quality assurance and quality control. The project has engaged renowned consultants in garment manufacture training, Technopak, to provide the curriculum and training.
This training is for both unskilled workers and for those who have been working in the industry but are interested in refreshing their skills.
Training is conducted in rounds of fourteen weeks. For each round, the project selects six factories, three in Sindh and three in the Punjab, based on their interest and suitability. Each company/factory hires individuals to be trained as Master Trainers (MTs), who can be fresh graduates with no experience of the garment industry. These people are employees of the company (on their payroll) right from the beginning. There is an entry test to qualify for the training.
In the first four weeks, the Master Trainers of all factories are given a crash course at a centralized location in each province. This course consists of eight hours' work each day, with four hours of theory and four of practical work. At the end of the first four weeks, each Master Trainer can sew a complete garment, without help.
Master Trainers then go to their respective factories where they establish a training unit, under the guidance of GEN-PROM trainers. Master Trainers hire a batch of fresh / unskilled trainee operators, each of whom have a Matriculation certificate or equivalent qualification.
The next ten weeks are spent in training these operators in the areas (and operations) desired by the company. At the end of this period, the Master Trainers and operators conclude the training course. The operators are then transferred to the production department and the Master Trainers can now continue the process of hiring the next batch of trainee operators for the factory.
The operators are selected after passing a battery of tests designed to gauge the skill set required to become a successful operator. Training consists of paper sewing exercises, fabric sewing exercises, mock production runs and stamina build-up exercises. An unskilled operator starts actual production generally from the fifth week of training, after which the focus is on building stamina and maintaining quality. Operators are also trained in machine maintenance and discipline.