Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan has urged all BGMEA members to arrange in-house training programmes for both workers and supervisors, in order to strengthen the future of the ever-growing RMG industry.
"I believe a dedicated initiative by each of our factories to train workers will actually complement the whole industry," he wrote in a letter sent to the BGMEA members recently.
While appreciating the factories that have already invested in training workers, he wrote, "If other factories take similar initiative and existing capacities can be scaled up, it is the industry which will be benefited. In fact, workplace-based training is more effective than classroom training."
In his letter, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan wrote, "In this juncture of opportunities and constraints, the shortage of skilled labour force has emerged as a major concern for us recently which is limiting our potential. The need for skilled workers, one of the core priorities of BGMEA and the governments, is felt more acutely than ever before."
"Many new technologies are coming which can make the production process faster, leaner and simpler. Technology evolution and the urge to be more efficient and adaptive to 4IR require more effort in skills development. Therefore, we need to re-skill and up-skill our human resources to prepare for the next big challenges, he added.
In collaboration with the government, other stakeholders and the development partners of BGMEA, the organisation reportedly is engaged in a number of skill development programmes for existing and new workers, including the establishment of the "Centre for Innovation, Efficiency and OSH". These efforts are expected to facilitate automation, 3D designing, innovation, using the best industrial engineering process and practices, and inspire modular processes.
According to the letter seen by the TBS correspondent, the president cited the projection of McKinsey & Co to anticipate that global trade recovery from the pandemic will take until the end of 2022 to reach the level of pre-Covid level for the world fashion industry.
"Though the struggle in meeting the cost and managing supply chain is there, the correspondence has been encouraging with the buyers.
The president also noted that the number of LEED-certified RMG factories has increased to 157 now, of which 47 are platinum and 96 are gold rated.
"We all know how difficult this has been to cope up with the impact, starting from cancellation of orders, discounts, deferred payment, non-payment, buyer's bankruptcy, forced loan and so on. Yet the morale was kept high, and the industry proved its resilience through all the sacrifices our entrepreneurs have made."
Faruque Hassan said the factories are making a considerable investment in the backward and forward linkage industries, upgrading technology and processes, making visible efforts to embrace innovation and adding higher values to keep the industry buoyed amid the pandemic.
"Not only has this been a struggle to stay on course, but our industry has continued its efforts and achievements in the area of safety, social and environmental sustainability," he further added.