Factory Improvement Toolset (FIT) pilot programme in Pakistan’s textile and ready made garments sector

The International Labour Organization (ILO) under its European Union funded International Labour and Environmental Standards Application in Pakistan’s SMEs (ILES) project, began pilot of its Factory Improvement Toolset (FIT) in eleven enterprises in Karachi. The pilot programme is offered to the enterprises that have already graduated from ILO’s SCORE Short course programme. All participating enterprises belong to the textile and ready-made garments sector.

Press release | Karachi, Pakistan | 28 September 2021
KARACHI (ILO News): The ILO under its European Union funded ILES project, began pilot of the FIT Programme in Pakistan. Under its initial roll out phase, a one day orientation session was organised for the FIT facilitators on the 15 September 2021. This session was attended by the ILO’s eleven trained facilitators under FIT and the ILO staff.

The facilitators were briefed on the FIT programme including its key features; different modules; module roll out methodology; key documentation; monitoring module; were given examples from other countries where FIT had already been piloted. Facilitators were also sensitised on the challenges in implementing FIT and how they were addressed in other countries. Speaking at the session the ILO’s Country Director Ms Ingrid Christensen said that: “We are happy to share that we are now adding Pakistan to the pilot programme of FIT. I am sure that the Employers, Workers and the Supervisors in the textile and ready-made garments sector will be glad that we are adding yet another toolbox along with SCORE and WISE approach already in place, that will help the enterprises further develop as well as improve in so many areas.”

She reminded the facilitators that decent work is the pre-requisite for sustainable enterprises and all the work that the ILO is supporting through the consultants may at one hand help in improving their employability skills and production capacity but at the other hand they are also aimed at achieving decent work objectives.

The one day session was followed by initial visits to the eleven factories who had given consent to join the FIT pilot programme. All these participating enterprises had already completed SCORE short course offered by the ILO. In this visit the ILO team along with its FIT facilitators met the management of the enterprises, briefed them about the FIT methodology, the modules available and the support ILO will be providing to help the enterprises implement these modules.

FIT is a customised tool set developed by ILO which is based on 60+ modules and is designed to cater to each and every relevant section/ department of a factory. It is designed in a way where the factories rather than depending on the conventional training approaches to cater to their needs, will now have a range of modules available online, directly linked to their needs, which they can conveniently pick, understand and thus implement in their relevant section/ department as deemed necessary, therefore helping them achieve their improvement goals without hampering their production plans. 

FIT in Pakistan
Although FIT is a self-driven programme developed by the ILO to help the factories initiate self-motivated improvement projects, the ILO Pakistan office, with the aim of ensuring that FIT is adequately utilised and its benefits fully reach to the textile and ready-made garments sector of Pakistan, decided to support the pilot of FIT in at least 25 enterprises in Pakistan. This will not only help the enterprises understand how to use the toolset and fully utilise it to their benefits, but will also help the ILO know the effectiveness of the toolset in Pakistan. The ILO’s pilot support will include delivering customised trainings on at least four online modules available under FIT, provide support in designing of improvement action plans for the enterprise under each modules, assist in implementation of the action plans and provide hands on support to ensure adequate documentation is completed as per requisites of each module.

As a next step, the ILO’s FIT facilitators will now be establishing Factory Improvement Teams (FIT) in each participating enterprises and conduct needs assessment of each participating factory.