SIALKOT: The central chairman the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Ijaz A Khokhar said the government has approved a grant of Rs33 million for setting up a display centre, a building of association and a centre for training of women entrepreneur. In an interview with APP on Sunday, he said the industry was facing problems due to shortage of trained and skilled industrial workers.
The establishment of a training centre in the export-oriented city would start a new era of development and prosperity which will also produce skilled and trained work force, he said.
The PRGMEA chairman said “We are considering imparting training separately to male and female workers in different sections of the industry.”
“We are making adequate efforts to put the industry on modern lines and to enhance its export volume to many fields,” Ijaz said. “We are making all-out efforts to form Federation of Pakistan Textile Industry consisting of the entire textile value chain to safeguard interests of all textile stakeholders,” he added.
Ijaz said the government should immediately address the energy issue facing the textile industry, adding that electricity should be provided to processing industry without interruption.
There is a great scope of growth of value-added garments industry in the export-oriented city of Sialkot which is now producing 40% of the world’s martial arts garments.
However the growth of Sialkot’s value-added garments industry can only be possible through the removal of hurdles like lack of skilled labour, inadequate electricity supply and irregular gas supply.
Provision of middle management and trained and skilled labour is vital for expansion of garments industry for giving the maximum job opportunities. The creation of the centre for training women entrepreneurs can be a key development as there is great scope for women in the garments industry.
Industrialists of the area are now demanding that the government needs to set up a Garments Training Institution.
They also believe that garments exporters should also focus on enhancing the quality of value-added garments, besides, preparing them to meet the global challenges of WTO as well as the restrictions placed by the European Union. Exporters in Sialkot believe that Pakistan is currently utilising just 50% of the total potential of value added garments.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2011.