The training institution for textiles and apparels manufacturing, called Textile and Clothing Institute of Botswana (TCIB), is expected to open its doors next month, said of the Botswana Textile and Clothing Association, Mohammad Shahid Ghafoor.
The training institution is a step in the right direction for the local industry which will offer one year certificate courses in clothing manufacturing in a wide variety of skills.
Industry players said that the establishment of an institution of this kind bodes well for the countryâ€™s shortage of skilled manpower.
Refilwe Jobe, manager of Mahalapye-based Window DÃ©cor and Fabrics Designers said that the institution is a welcome development, especially if it focuses more on practical education than theory.
Most of the students who come to them as interns seem to have limited skills when it comes to textiles and apparels manufacturing. In her company, Jobe said that they face challenges when it comes to finding people with cutting skills, noting that the institution could be the answer to their shortage.
She also assured that her company will be watching the progress of the institute to see if it produces quality graduates with the intention of enrolling workers for further studies. Window DÃ©cor and Fabrics Designers, which is situated at Botalaote Ward in Mahalapye, specializes in manufacturing womenâ€™s and menâ€™s attire, dresses, suits, curtains, beddings and interior dÃ©cor. Currently, the company supplies its products to the local market.
Shawn Ntlhaile, who owns Rinimy Enterprises in Jwaneng a firm manufactures and supplies school uniforms, protective clothing, sports and corporate wear and promotional gift items said that the training centre would be more beneficial if it will improve the quality of the textile personnel and assist in curbing the shortage of skilled workers.
According to Ntlhaile, lack of skilled manpower has adverse effects on the quality of locally-produced goods. He stated that the local textile and clothing industry faces fierce competition from large chain stores that are mostly South African.
The government should protect the local industry by coming up with laws that make it compulsory for foreign business people to partner with locals in setting up enterprises locally.
The local clothing and textile industry will soon get a boost as the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) has approved the establishment of a training institution for the sector. Meanwhile, the founder of the institution is adamant that it will be a renowned training and technical service provider to cater for the growth and needs of the textile and clothing industry.
While for other industry players like Pinnie Maruatona, director of Task Manufacturers Botswana, the establishment of the institution should be scrutinized to see if it will really serve its purpose.
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