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July 7, 2022

Hela Apparel “first” to extend PACE programme to Egypt

Hela Apparel Holdings claims to have become the first apparel manufacturer to implement Gap Inc's globally-recognised employee empowerment initiative PACE in Egypt, with support from PVH Corp.

By Fi Forrest

Hela Apparel Holdings successfully concluded its first Personal Advancement and Career Enhancement (PACE) graduation at its manufacturing facility in Egypt recently, certifying some 28 Egyptian team members and 13 Egyptian trainers under the PACE, Train the Trainer programme.

Hela says the achievement marks a landmark expansion of the global initiative with the support of its strategic customer PVH Corp, owner of the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands.

Originally launched in 2007, PACE is a foundational life skills training programme designed to improve skills such as communication, problem-solving and decision making, time and stress management, legal and financial literacy, general and reproductive health, and water, sanitation, and hygiene among female apparel workers. As a social capital-focused company, Hela aims to provide all team members across its global footprint with access to the PACE programme.

“The establishment of Hela’s first manufacturing facility in Egypt earlier this year was a key milestone for the company, and I’m extremely pleased we were able to roll out the PACE programme within just a few months,” says Sanath Amaratunga, CEO of Hela Kids Wear. “We’ve been impressed by the enthusiasm for the initiative among our Egyptian team members and seeing how the participants have developed their knowledge and skills through the programme brings me immense pride. As a social capital-focused company, we believe in equal opportunities and access to resources for all employees across the group.”

The programme was initiated in Egypt on 16 April 2022 and implemented through a combination of practical and theoretical sessions. Hela says the continuous guidance from PVH on the programme also helped to ensure the trainers adapted their methods to the local cultural context and added value to each individual, helping them grow in knowledge and understanding.

The PACE programme was initiated within the Hela group in 2019 in partnership with PVH and has since been implemented in Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, and Egypt. It is set to be rolled out to the company’s Kenyan manufacturing facility in the near future and Hela aims to certify over 5,000 graduates across the group by 2024.

Hela commenced operations at its latest factory in Egypt earlier this year, following the conclusion of its listing on the Colombo Stock Exchange.

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