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
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.
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.