Tesco launches Apparel Skills Foundation
Supermarket giant Tesco has launched an Apparel Skills Foundation to support the Bangladesh ready-made garment industry.
The aim of the foundation is to equip the industry with training, expertise and tools to improve productivity while improving conditions, pay and opportunities for factory workers.
Joint-funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), the foundation will show managers how to improve productivity and working conditions as well as train factory owners on worker management, ethical leadership and new production techniques to increase productivity.
The Skills Foundation, which is open to all garment producers in Bangladesh, expects to train over 100 factories by the end of 2015.
Dame Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Tesco’s Executive Director for Corporate and Legal Affairs, explained: "The Skills Foundation is a smart, sustainable business solution. Increasing efficiency and productivity will improve the lives, pay and conditions of garment factory workers while enabling us to deliver high quality clothing to our customers at affordable prices without comprising on ethics. This is the right thing to do and a win-win for Tesco, our suppliers and their workers, and our customers."
Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, added: "This Skills Foundation will act as a great example to show how responsible and ethical garment production is good for business and that commercial and financial results can be boosted when employment conditions improve.
"I am delighted that, together, Tesco and the UK Government are encouraging this much needed positive change in the garment industry in Bangladesh with the Responsible and Accountable Garment Sector (RAGS) Challenge Fund.”
Initiatives that have already been trialled in pilot programmes include reducing long working hours, giving workers productivity bonuses and implementing mentoring and buddy systems for new workers.
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