VF Foundation said it will be upskilling 500 workers through mobile phone-based training and an additional 800 within physical training centres.

It explained this partnership with Shimmy exemplifies the power of collaboration that complements VF‘s work to empower women in its supply chain, and drives forward a shared vision to ensure a more sustainable and equitable future for women in the apparel industry.

This initiative builds on VF Foundation and Shimmy’s joint pilot programme in Bangladesh from 2022. The pilot targeted unemployed women and aimed to assess the effectiveness of new training solutions for upskilling and reskilling women, providing them with the opportunities to enter the ready-made garment (RMG) industry.

The programme also identified technical training centres in different cities across Bangladesh, including Dhaka, situated near garment factories in the area.

According to VF Foundation, the pilot yielded positive results, noting that of the 500 people in training, 452 were women, and over 55% were employed in the RMG supply chain within six months.

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It added that of those without jobs in the RMG industry, only 23.19% were looking for work after six months. While, the remaining trainees reportedly opted to stay home as homemakers, continue with other studies, or enter another industry.

VF Corporation pointed out that Shimmy also carried out its research project to identify current and future machines used in factories which helped the social enterprise to create content of the training programmes in alignment with the specific needs of employers.

Last February VF Foundation issued $8.3m in grants to support projects in sustainable innovation, inclusive and accessible outdoor spaces, women’s empowerment, and community development.

Shimmy also received a part of this funding to run the pilot programme in Bangladesh.