Recently leading UK based retailer Marks and Spencer and Sudokkho in partnership with Rajesh Bheda Consulting, (RBC) organized a workshop ‘Benefits of Skills Development in the Garment Industry’ on 19th December 2019, at a hotel in Dhaka, says a press release.
“Marks and Spencer is very proud of you, our supply partners. Without your dedicated efforts and progressive thinking of embracing change, we would not have been able to grow and achieve a 40% share of M&S’s global sourcing from Bangladesh. Today M&S is proud to source everything in clothing from Socks to expensive Suits from Bangladesh. Most of the items that we used to source from Turkey earlier are now being produced in Bangladesh” were the words of the dynamic leader and Country Head of M&S in Bangladesh Shwapna Bhowmick.
“Several companies in Bangladesh are implementing best practices like Green Factories, employment for differently-abled people and greater participation of women in management. We have a very good cooperative government as well as very good industrial entrepreneurs and very good workers. There are also collaborative projects for skill development like Sudokkho. We must work together to improve the skills and efficiency of workers so that they can earn more and fulfill their dreams” she said. Lauding the efforts of Sudokkho and RBC as ‘Change Makers’, she urged the supply partners to fully utilize the opportunity to strengthen the human resource through wholehearted participation in the Sudokkho program,” Shwapna Bhowmick added.
During his keynote address Dr. Rajesh Bheda, Managing Director of RBC, shared that Bangladesh garment factories have the potential to improve productivity by almost 50% and their profitability can be improved significantly through Right First-Time quality. He also explained that most factors affecting productivity and quality are human-related and within the reach of the management. He illustrated how Sudokkho’s Industry-based training system can transform the skills training capabilities of the factory teams.
He shared that in the factories supported under Sudokkho IBT project by RBC, over 18000 trainees have been trained as sewing machine operators on the basis of the scientific principles of training and over 9000 existing workers have improved their production capacity by almost 30%.
Several leading garment manufacturers have benefitted from the Sudokkho program. Speaking at the occasion, Md. Abdul Kalam, AGM, Fakruddin Textile Mills Limited shared that after implementation of the Sudokkho IBT system, their training duration went down from 3 months to about 3 weeks.
He said that the ‘trainer- mentors’ trained under the program are very effective in supporting the young trainees to reach optimal performance on the production floor. Ashraf, GM- HR from Standard Group also explained how the factories of his group have benefitted from participating in the program. The interactive workshop provided an excellent opportunity for the participants to understand the best practices in skills training and explore how they can introduce such a training system in their factories with support from Sudokkho.
S. M. Rashed Mahmud, Social Compliance Manager, M&S started the workshop with a welcome address. Sanjida Khan Majles, Business and Training Market Development Coordinator, Sudokkho, said that the objective of the Sudokkho project is to reduce poverty through better training and creating job opportunities for the poor. For this, Sudokkho contributes to a stronger and more inclusive private sector training market-creating better job opportunities for the poor. She explained that till now Sudokkho’s IBT system has been implemented in 124 factories in Bangladesh.
These include suppliers of brands like Debenhams, Primark, New Look, TESCO, Mothercare, Marks and Spencer and factories of leading groups like Urmi, Standard, Masco and Renaissance. She explained that with Sudokkho IBT training system, the factories can train unskilled trainees to become operators within 2 weeks, start earning a livelihood and support their family.
Sudokkho is a seven-year private skill training market development program in Bangladesh funded by UK aid and SDC. Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), Government of Bangladesh is the executing agency of the program. Sudokkho is implemented by Palladium International, in consortium with Swisscontact and British Council.
Rajesh Bheda Consulting is a management consulting firm focussed on improving the competitiveness of the textile-garment industry organizations. RBC partners with garment manufacturers, brands, industry associations, development organizations and UN Agencies.