Sri Lanka's Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) has launched a comprehensive training manual designed to help education providers align their courses with the needs of the clothing industry.

The 'Competence and Beyond' manual outlines the skills, standards and knowledge required for 139 jobs relating to the clothing supply chain, from spinning to customer care.

The aim is to ensure that staff working within academic institutions, many of whom have very little practical experience of the industry and how it works, can align their curricula with the specific needs of the companies who will eventually employ their students. 

The guide has been compiled with the help of companies from all sectors of the industry, who teamed up to define the key jobs and the skills required for the various roles.

It analyses employee accountability, performance measures, qualifications and experience across a range of jobs at all levels of production, from manager to operator.

Jobs cover spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing, finishing, quality, research,  development, engineers, mechanics,  maintenance, design, pattern making, CAD operators, merchandising, planning, warehousing, embroidery, production, supervision, customer care and much else; even the boiler operator is included.

Garment production jobs include cutting manager, cutting executive, cutter, CAD operator, marker maker, spreader (machine and manual), work study manager, work study executive, factory manager, production manager, production executive, production technician, production supervisor, sewing training instructress, line feeder, sewing machine operator, quality assurance manager, quality assurance executive, advance quality level checker, end line quality checker and in line quality checker.

JAAF believes 'Competence and Beyond' is the first documentation worldwide to map out all the key job roles in the apparel and textile industries.

And it points out that the document is intended to evolve over time, and be updated and refined periodically to keep pace with industry changes.

The work carried out by JAAF in Sri Lanka is as pertinent to that country as it is to any other manufacturing base, be it India, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Bulgaria or Lithuania - and hard copies are available from JAAF, 16 De Fonseke Road, Colombo 05, Sri Lanka at a cost of US$300, inclusive of shipping.

By Niki Tait.