What other measures have been taken at association and government level to beat tough rivalry from other countries and make TCF industry competitive?
The Government in the last budget round May 09 announced a series of policy measures that will assist continued innovation and renewal in the Australian textiles, clothing and footwear (TCF) industries. The Government will invest $401.0 million in a retargeted TCF package from 2009-10 to 2015-16. This package directs $55.0 million specifically towards innovation.
The package recognises the importance of the TCF industries, which employ over 45,000 Australians directly, and many more in support activities, as well as underpins many regional communities around the country. It aims to make the TCF sector stronger and more sustainable by supporting the development of new products and processes, especially at the high-tech, high-value end of the market.
Under the package, the Australian Government will:
•introduce a new TCF Strategic Capability Program to support large projects that will boost innovation capacity and performance at the enterprise level;
•establish a Clothing and Household Textile Building Innovative Capability Program to support investment and innovation – based on the TCF Strategic Investment Program;
•establish a TCF Industries Innovation Council bringing together business, unions, researchers and government to champion innovation in the sector and provide strategic advice;
•establish a National TCF Innovation Network within Enterprise Connect to support collaboration between companies and between industry, researchers and educational institutions;
•retain the TCF Small Business Program, to improve business enterprise culture;
•commission the TCF Industries Innovation Council to provide further advice on the introduction of a voluntary ethical quality mark, voluntary national sizing standards for clothing and footwear, and a national anthropometric (human measurement) database; and
•proceed with the TCF tariff reductions already enshrined in legislation.
The TCF package responds to the recommendations of last year’s Review of the Australian TCF Industries by Professor Roy Green.
How does being a member of TFIA benefit the companies?
TFIA objects as per the constitution are to
• Represent TCF industry and facilitate links within the sector
• Advocate and make policy recommendations to Government
• Represent the industry in national and international forums
• Disseminate information for the benefit of industry
• Facilitate technology transfer from R&D to industry
• Engage in industry training programs
• Promote the importance of TCF in media & to consumers
Member’s needs are diverse and can range from simple requests for contacts to advanced workplace training in the latest technologies such as seamless knitwear. In recent times the TFIA has increased its focus on training in sustainability as well as building its Business Intelligence services to enable companies to tap into quality market research data. The TFIA acts on behalf of many other cluster groups, including the Australian Fashion Council (AFC). The AFC has a membership list of young designers who may be new to business or need assistance in particular aspects of business, and this instance the TFIA has developed a strong knowledge basis from which it can assist these individuals and businesses grow and prosper.
The TFIA plays a very strong role in distributing information from Government to the industry and vice versa. It acts as a conduit for trade delegations and technology transfer.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.