The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is partnering with digital training supplier Quizrr to help 20 Bangladesh garment factories supplying retailers including Primark, New Look and Marks & Spencer, to operate in a Covid-safe way.
While factories in the country have reopened, the risk of infection remains a major threat and there is an ongoing need to make sure workers, managers and supervisors understand the steps they need to take to protect themselves.
To help address the risks, ETI has received funding from the Vulnerable Supply Chain Facility (VSCF), a rapid Covid-19 response fund set up by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and managed by Mott MacDonald.
The Facility has partnered with 20 UK and international retailers and brands, supporting over 100 suppliers across Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Myanmar, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, and will provide economic, social, and health benefits to around 1 million women and men directly and indirectly.
The initiative will trial a strong Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) component in 20 ready-made garment factories in Bangladesh nominated by seven ETI brand members – Primark, New Look, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Dimensions and Arco.
The project will combine traditional, classroom-based training with innovative, tablet-based modules developed by training partner Quizrr, and aims to reach 30,000 workers and 1,000 supervisors and managers in selected factories in Dhaka.
Learning will be shared widely after the pilot beyond the 20 factories, both within the ETI membership and with the wider garment sector and relevant stakeholders.
ETI and Quizrr have been collaborating since 2015 to bring a Social Dialogue programme to garment factories in Bangladesh. The programme uses a combination of ETI’s traditional classroom teaching with Quizrr’s tablet-based, digital media approach.
In addition to the support received from UKAid, the Social Dialogue programme is currently co-funded by the Norwegian Government’s development agency NORAD and the corporate donor HSBC.
Benefits include increased awareness among worker representatives of their rights and responsibilities in the workplace, better industrial relations, and improved attitudes toward cooperative and collaborative relations between workers and managers.