Drop in ex­ports of Tex­tile, Cloth­ing and Footwear ex­pected

TCF Coun­cil happy con­cerns about the lack of skilled labour for the in­dus­try ad­dressed by Gov­ern­ment

Fiji Sun - - Business - KATHRIN KR­ISHNA EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL Feed­back: kathrin.kr­ishna@fi­jisun.com.fj

The Tex­tile, Cloth­ing and Footwear (TCF) in­dus­try is ex­pect­ing to see a re­duc­tion in ex­ports this year. TCF Coun­cil Pres­i­dent, Kaushik Ku­mar, yes­ter­day em­pha­sised this dur­ing the coun­cil’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing at the Fiji Club in Suva last night. Mr Ku­mar said the drop was an­tic­i­pated due to the dis­rup­tions as well as un­favourable ex­change rates which con­tin­ues to pose ma­jor chal­lenges for the in­dus­try. “The year did not start on a good note for our col­leagues in the West be­ing badly hit by the Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Win­ston which caused ma­jor dis­rup­tion and dam­age to var­i­ous fac­to­ries,” he said. “I sin­cerely hope they have man­aged to re­cover from the af­ter­math of the cy­clone and their busi­ness is get­ting back to nor­mal.”

Train­ing for in­dus­try

Mean­while, the coun­cil’s con­cerns about the lack of skilled labour for the in­dus­try and the need for train­ing, has been ad­dressed by Gov­ern­ment. Mr Ku­mar thanked Gov­ern­ment for ad­dress­ing this con­cern through in­tro­duc­ing sewing ma­chin­ist train­ing pro­gramme through the Tech­ni­cal Col­lege of Fiji. “This course is fully-funded by Gov­ern­ment and is run at no cost at the Tech­ni­cal Col­lege cam­pus in Suva and Lau­toka and will soon be in­tro­duced in other cen­tres,” he noted. “The Fiji Na­tional Univer­sity in part­ner­ship with the APTC has started a cer­tifi­cate 3 course in Ap­plied Fash­ion and De­sign.

“It is pleas­ing to note the course has re­ceived good sup­port from em­ploy­ers who are up skilling their staff and the re­quired ca­pac­ity was filled up.

“These are sig­nif­i­cant steps in ad­dress­ing skill short­fall is­sues in our in­dus­try. “We will con­tinue to dis­cuss and work with the train­ing providers to meet skill short­falls in other ar­eas.” In ad­di­tion, Mr Ku­mar said he was aware of a num­ber of fac­to­ries which have now set up in­ter­nal train­ing lines for machinists.

“I am also aware that a few fac­to­ries are in reg­u­lar con­tact with the Tech­ni­cal Col­lege and have been re­cruit­ing their trainees.” Mr Ku­mar also thanked the Min­is­ter for In­dus­try, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Sid­diq Koya, and his Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, Sha­heen Ali, for their con­tin­ued sup­port to the in­dus­try.

Photo: RON­ALD KU­MAR.

Min­is­ter for Trade Faiyaz Koya and TCF Pres­i­dent Kaushik Ku­mar­dur­ing Tex­tile Cloth­ing and Footwear Coun­cil of Fiji (TCF) an­nual gen­eral meet­ing at Fiji Club last night.

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