A total of 145 team members from Sri Lanka’s Hela Apparel Holdings‘ manufacturing facilities in Mawathagama, Narammala, Palapathwela and Thihariya have graduated under the PACE programme.

The Personal Advancement and Career Enhancement (PACE) programme was introduced by Hela and PVH to manufacturing facilities in 2019 as a foundational life skills training programme designed to improve skills such as communication, problem-solving and decision making, time and stress management, legal literacy, financial literacy, execution excellence, and sanitation and hygiene.

Improving these skills will help employees of Hela feel empowered and increase their confidence levels which will benefit their careers for long term positive growth, the company says.

“It’s wonderful to see so many of our employees being recognised under the PACE programme. With over 19,000 employees across Sri Lanka and Africa, we believe it is our prime responsibility to ensure that each individual who contributes to the growth of the organisation is supported to grow with it. With steady progress since its inception, we hope to see more than 5,000 employees graduate from the PACE programme by 2024,” says Shameen Peiris, CEO of Hela Intimates.

‘Diriliya’ is another initiative developed by Hela as part of its social capital focused approach to uplift the lives of the people in the communities it operates in. Hela Diriliya is designed to encourage employees to come forward with their skills, and build a culture that encourages entrepreneurs. Through this programme employees across Hela will be provided with the knowledge of how to build a business from scratch, develop business models and maintain finances while ensuring product quality. The initiative will also provide selling propositions both internally and externally and aid members to connect with financial institutions for support. Hela Diriliya also helps members develop specific vocational skills, further enabling them to excel in skills such as needlework, dressmaking, and pottery.

Viraj Fernando, CEO of Hela KinetiX, adds: “The apparel sector is one of the biggest contributors towards the Sri Lankan economy, Hela as an industry leader believe that people thrive when they’re positive and initiatives such as PACE and Diriliya drive positivity amongst our employees. Seeing 145 graduates today from our factories in Sri Lanka brings me immense pride. I hope that each and every one of them obtained something that will drive them towards their life goals through this programme which in return will help their families, the organisation and the country”.