The Hub’s new Apparel Workforce Skills Development Program recently graduated 117 young trainees from an eight-week boot camp dedicated to apparel technical and soft skills development. The graduates, from three separate training centers: 1) Mombasa Apparels EPZ in Jomvu (30), 2) Africa Apparel EPZ Ltd in Nairobi’s industrial area (48), and Africa Apparel EPZ Ltd in Mtwapa (39), are now interviewing for jobs with an expectation of nearly 100% placement in apparel factories, or are already employed. All graduating trainees from Jomvu, the first boot camp to complete, have already received appointment letters and commenced work at Mombasa Apparel EPZ Ltd.
Training is ongoing in additional locations, such as Nakuru, and more training centers will open soon in Athi River and Nairobi. By project end, the Hub expects to train 2,000 individuals for careers in the apparel sector.
The Hub’s Workforce Skills Development Program is one of the elements under the Hub’s East Africa Cotton, Textile and Apparel Expansion initiative, through which the Hub is addressing the binding constraints that currently inhibit growth in the East Africa, apparel sector. Besides workforce development, the initiative includes specific actions in the areas of enabling policy – specifically power tariffs, work permits, and movement of goods and capital – and the implementation of social, environmental and worker safety standards. The Hub is implementing its East Africa Cotton, Textile and Apparel Expansion initiative in partnership with East African governments and the private sector, particularly the American Apparel and Footwear Association, with whom the Hub has a memorandum of understanding.