Ten Pakistani factories have benefitted from the International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s Factory Improvement Toolset (FIT) which is designed to support garment factory workers.
The toolset is a self-facilitated, activity-based learning approach designed to support garment manufacturers to improve productivity, competitiveness, and working conditions by upgrading production systems and day-to-day operations.
Under the Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains Asia project, which is jointly funded by the ILO and Swedish government, FIT interventions were implemented over the course of six months in ten Pakistani factories with the guidance of trained facilitators.
In a progress report, the ILO reported that each of these facilities has seen improvements in production output, worker relations and operational logistics.
Both qualitative and quantitative data show that the FIT peer-learning approach built trust between workers and factory management to identify and address challenges in their respective facilities.
Project manager Khemphone Phaokamkeo commented to Just Style that “The FIT programme is special and unique due to its ease and ability to provoke critical thinking amongst the enterprises. It has proven a handy tool for enterprises to effectively adapt and utilise to resolve concerns across all departments.”
FIT designer Charles Bodwell tells Just Style exclusively: “FIT is designed as a trainerless / no-expert-needed approach – so it can scale and be sustained. Trainings of trainers was minimal and expert costs were kept down (other than the sunk cost of the materials development). FIT is an activity-based approach, so factories can run it on their own following initial work with a facilitator who knows our model.
“Following the good results of the first programme in Pakistan, we are now partnering with Better Work on organising further work with their factories. We are also starting up a programme to be run by the National Productivity Organization together with Amazon.”
Since 2021, the ILO’s toolset has also been successfully implemented in factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Thailand, and China.
Recently, the ILO and IFC’s Better Work Initiative was successfully launched in Sri Lankan garment factories.