SRI LANKA: Factory Improvement Programme In Apparel Sector

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) in collaboration with the Employers' Federation of Ceylon (EFC) and the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) launched their second Factory Improvement Programme (FIP-2) in the apparel sector.

The FIP-2 was created due to numerous requests to upgrade the skills of factory workers in this sector.Director, ILO Colombo, Claudia Coenjaerts, said: "For the Sri Lankan industry, the times ahead are both promising and challenging. There is the promise for peace which is taking shape while there are plans for economic reforms. The government as well as the industry have embarked on a number of initiatives to improve productivity. "Our goal through the ILO, FIP is focused to give the tools to the garment factories to enable them to build competitiveness to international standards", she added.

Key objectives of the programme are to improve the standard in the selected factories in the areas of quality, productivity, worker-management relations, human relations, organizational culture health, safety and continuous improvement.

She said, "we are a value-based organization, and according to our constitution the road to peace is social justice.

The cornerstones of our conviction is that economic and social needs must be balanced. Labour markets do not function in the same way as markets for services and goods do. Labour markets are about people and profit can only be sustained if the human component is also addressed".

Director General of the EFC, Gotabaya Dissanayake, said: "Today the Sri Lanka apparel sector is poised to face challenges because of the Multi Fibre Agreement (MFA) which expires in 2005. "We would be able to face challenges successfully if we are competitive". According to this, FIP has played a significant role and I am confident, the initiative would pave the way for its success, he added.National Programme Manager of ILO, Jayantha R. de Silva, said this multi supplier-training programme was designed to be held in four Asian countries and four South American countries. Sri Lanka was selected because of the success of the pilot project. Further the FIP has a major impact on development of management skills, methods of combining learning with action and improvement of standards, he said.

The FIP-2 will commence by end November. Certificates were awarded for factories, which showed better performance at the Factory Improvement Program-1 which included Sanchia (Pvt) Ltd, Alexandra Industries (Ceylon) Ltd, Shadowline (Pvt) Ltd, Mirigama Clothing (Pvt) Ltd, Continental Fashions (Pvt) Ltd, Favourite Garments (Pvt) Ltd, AGM Garments (Pvt) Ltd and Miami Exports (Pvt) Ltd.

Source: Sunday Observer

November 17, 2003

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Added: November 17, 2003
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