Following the closure of many knitwear garment manufacturing factories in Pakistan last year, around 50,000 workers have moved to other growing sectors like construction where the wage rate is significantly better than the clothing sector, just-style has learnt.

Now, due to currency appreciation and increases in production costs in India, the knitwear industry in Pakistan is once again receiving orders but is facing workforce problems, with an acute shortage of trained and untrained manpower for the clothing industry.

According to the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), workforce numbers have dropped from a peak of around 0.5m to 450,000 today.

Clothing exporters are now making efforts to invest in workers' welfare, and some factories are starting in-house training programmes and trying to attract labour with a better wage rate.  

In addition the government has also raised the minimum wage by 15% to PKR4,600 (US$77) per month.

By Ahmed Abdullah.