Pakistan's Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) is to set up training centres for workers in garment factories with help from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA).

The plans were unveiled by EPZA chairman Mr Kamran Y Mirza at an introductory session of the Gender Promotion Program (GENPROM) project earlier this month.
The GENPROM project is aimed at garment factories operating in export processing zones, and aims to fill the skills gap and generate employment for female workers in the garment industry.

It was initiated through the joint efforts of UNDP, the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA), PRGMEA and the Faisalabad Institute of Textile and Fashion Design.
Under the project, skill development for women is being carried out in selected garments factories.

About 1,300 female operators and 190 master trainers have so far been trained and employed in 20 different garment factories countrywide.

This has led to an increase in productivity and has also improved working conditions

By Ahmed Abdullah.