To strengthen export-oriented small and medium-sized apparel manufactures in creating socially responsible jobs, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH together with its partners – Ethical Apparel Africa (EAA), Gerber, Groz Beckert, Freudenberg and Accra Technical Training College (ATTC) – officially launched the Ghana Apparel Training & Service Centre in Accra last Thursday.
The launch forms part of a public-private partnership between the German Federal government and Ghana’s private sector.
With funding from the German Federal government, this initiative falls under the GIZ-implemented develoPPP.de programme.
develoPPP.de was set up by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) over 20 years ago, to foster the private sector’s involvement in areas where business opportunities and development policy initiatives overlap.
To this end, BMZ offers financial and technical support for companies that want to do business or have already begun operating in developing and emerging-market countries.
The GIZ-develoPPP.de programme will work in close cooperation with the ATTC to support skills-gaps by providing appropriate training and services for current and future potential factory employees.
In his remarks, the Team Lead for develoPPP.de programme, Christian Wollnik said: “The aim is to train 500 individuals in various subjects by mid-2022m and to provide further technical services to small and medium-sized clothing manufacturers.
“Ultimately, this should stimulate growth in the whole industry and contribute to the creation of 1,200 new jobs in garment factories.”
Mr. Wollnik added: “This project is however much more than merely training a certain number of people. Together with the College, we will create sustainable structures at the Training Centre which help tap the Ghanaian garment industry’s enormous potential in the upcoming years”.
The Centre offers training and services in different areas of expertise: like manual and digital pattern making; sewing machine mechanics; industrial engineering; and social compliance.
The co-founder of Ethical Apparel Africa, Keren Pybus, in his address said: “The demand for clothing made in Ghana is definitely growing for various reasons – such as AGOA, fast shipping times to the US and Europe, and competitive costings.
“However, we need to grow the export-compliant capacity and skills level to meet the needs of international brands and retailers. Not only in terms of lead time, price and quality, but also in terms of sustainability.”
Digital pattern company Gerber, interlining supplier Freudenberg, and needle supplier Groz Beckert also recognise the potential of Ghana and are looking forward to a new, prospering market.
Groz-Beckert is the world’s leading provider of industrial machine needles, precision parts and fine-tools, as well as systems and services for the production and joining of textile fabrics. The family-owned company, founded in 1852, employed around 7,700 people and generated a turnover of around €665 Mio in 2016.
Ethical Apparel Africa (EAA) is a for-profit sourcing company providing apparel brands with end-to-end production management support: including product development, raw material/trims sourcing, quality control, and logistics facilitation.
Principal of ATTC, Mr. Arko Dometey, said the Centre’s vision is to deliver relevant and quality skills training to bridge the skills-gap and solve unemployment. He added that the Ghana Apparel Training and Service Centre (GATSC) was established to bridge the gap in the apparel industry, as well as train people to service machines used in the industry.