The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on Thursday launched the Ghana Apparel Training and Service Centre in Accra to boost Ghana’s garment and manufacturing industry.
The key objective is to strengthen export-oriented small and medium-sized apparel manufacturers to create 1,200 new jobs and train 500 individuals.
The initiative forms part of a public-private partnership between the German Federal Government and Ghana’s private sector, and would offer training in areas of expertise like manual and digital pattern making, sewing machine mechanics, industrial engineering and social compliance.
With funding from the German Federal Government, it was carried out in partnership with Ethical Apparel Africa (EAA), Gerber, Groz Beckert, Freudenberg and Accra Technical Training Centre (ATTC).
Mr Christian Wollnik, Team Lead for GIZ develoPPP.de programme said GIZ had undertaken several developmental projects in the automobile, agriculture, environment, health and textiles sectors.
He said the Training Centre will offer more than training but also create sustainable structures to tap the enormous potential of the Ghanaian garment industry in upcoming years.
Mr Wollnik advised that emphasis should not only be on the number of jobs being created, but more so, the quality and potential of these jobs have to stand the test of time.
Madam Keren Pybus, CEO for EAA said the demand for made in Ghana clothing was fast growing due to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Fast Shipping Times to the United States of America and Europe, and competitive costings.
However, the Industry needs to grow the export compliant capacity and skills level to meet the demand of international brands and retailers not only in terms of lead time, price, and quality, but also in terms of sustainability.
Mrs Awurabena Okrah, Chairperson, ATTC board indicated that the Institution sought to expand the infrastructure and eliminate the job deficiency in the country by providing skills for the youth and introduce modern courses that the apparel industry needed to advance.
She said the Centre would encourage more women to join the fashion industry and by this, “gender parity would be achieved”.
Mrs Ellen Dapaah, President for Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Association said they had plans of setting up a similar Training Centre to improve the skills of members, as such, the Centre had come at an opportune time to add digital touch to their work.
She advised those in the fashion industry to demonstrate high ethical standards in the execution of their duties by having concern for the well-being and safety of clients.