Regional Model Competency Standards: Garment work

Competency standards are a set of benchmarks that define the skills, knowledge, and attributes that people need to perform a work role. They are developed in consultation with industry, in order to ensure that they reflect the needs of the workplace. These standards are primarily used to develop and implement training, to assess the outcomes of training, and to assess the level of a person’s existing skills and competencies.

Garment production is an important source of income for Asian economies. Figures for Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Viet Nam show the garment industries contributes respectively 79 per cent, 52 per cent, 43 per cent, 17 per cent, 12 per cent of total exports. Significantly the garment industry also offers low-skilled jobs for many women in the lower-income countries of the region.

Increasingly, industry buyers are seeking to purchase a full service, from design to stock delivery, to shorten lead times and lower costs for customers. Countries where workers are mainly low skilled are unable to meet these demands. As the garment industry continues to achieve higher productivity, it is likely that many of the traditional, low-skill jobs held mostly by women will be lost. There will be a need for either new opportunities for employment or up-skilling of workers to meet changing requirements