The Ethical Trading Initiative is set to offer a training workshop for British retailers and brands working in supply chains where there are homeworkers.

The half-day practical workshop is designed to help retailers and brands better understand the opportunities, risks and realities of supply chains that rely on homeworkers.

"Many high street retailers and luxury brands source from homeworkers, who carry out the embellishments and fine needlework that we see on garments," said ETI training development manager Jane Collis.

"But homeworking can be found within many global supply chains, including sports goods, electrical assembly, print finishing and packaging."

Because of their informal employment status, homeworkers often experience poorer living and working conditions compared to formal sector workers. Low wages, irregularity of work, lack of social protection, high rates of occupational injury, lack of access to training and information about rights and entitlements, as well as weak bargaining power are common concerns for homeworkers.

The 'Introduction to Homeworkers and Ethical Trade' training programme is aimed at managers, buyers, merchandisers, technologists and commercial teams. It focuses on opportunities to improve the working conditions of skilled artisan homeworkers; on business and ethical risks in complex supply chains and on the realities of pay, conditions and insecurity faced by many homeworkers.

The course is part of a suite of training courses that ETI has designed for brands, suppliers, contractors, sub-contractors and homeworkers.