The Singapore government is backing a SGD6.8m (US$5.6m) investment to train workers in the textile and fashion industry, including new sustainable programmes designed to meet the needs of global brands.

The training scheme is being handled by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), in collaboration with the Textile and Fashion Federation (TaFf). Its aim is to support the manpower needs of the industry as it shifts its focus to higher value-added activities like design and product development, global sourcing, as well as supply chain management and merchandising.  

Funding of more than SGD2.8m will be set aside to develop initiatives under the Textile and Fashion Technology Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) framework, while a further SGD4m will be used to train another 2,800 workers over the next three years.

Mr Chen Yen Yeo, director of garment manufacturer Tung Mung International Pte Ltd, which employs 10,000 workers in its satellite offices and factories in Indonesia and Vietnam, says the WDA has already helped the firm recruit locals with industry experience to work overseas.

"We like to employ Singaporeans to lead the overseas offices as they understand the local work ethics and pace, and will be able to imbue such practices in the work culture in our overseas offices," he says.

"It is also easier for Singaporeans to communicate and coordinate work matters between the Singapore HQ and overseas offices."