THE GOVERNMENT is planning to establish a modern tailoring school that is envisaged to contribute toward the promotion of the textile industry as plans to phase out secondhand clothes in the country remain on course.
The development was announced on Monday during a consultative meeting between officials concerned with promotion of the National Employment Programmes (NEP).
The school will be operated by the government through the Workforce Development Authority (WDA) in collaboration with C&H Garments, a Chinese owned company, according to officials.
Theodore Habimana, the head of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at WDA, said that while promoting hands-on skills is their prime responsibility, they need to put more emphasis on developing the tailoring industry to boost efforts to end the importation of second hand clothes.
He said that tailoring is one of the sectors that contribute to national development but more materials are being imported from other countries, adding that government is committed to ensure most of them can be locally acquired to bring down the cost of production.
According to officials, the new school, to be called ‘Rwanda Institute of Design and Clothing’, will start before the current fiscal year ends and will train technicians as well as textile industry managers.
“The school will be set up at the Intergrate Polytechnic Regional Centre ( IPRC ) Kigali which will train tailors at advanced level,” he said.
“We have benchmarked qualification of teachers needed and we are developing curricula, we want to make it an advanced centre,” he added.
He said that WDA will also continue providing training in short courses in technical secondary schools to increase the number of tailors in the country.
Integrating tailoring in ICPCs
Officials also said that there was need to integrate tailoring in the Integrated Craft Production Centre (ICPCS), commonly known as “Udukiriro”, to promote the small and medium textile industries in the country.
The ICPCs are dominated by carpentry and welding and it is believed that once tailoring is encouraged, it would create more jobs.
According to figures from the Ministry of Public Service and Labour, under NEP, it is expected that over 3.2 million jobs will have been created by 2020 and ICPCs are expected to play a significant role for this to happen.
Each district should have ICPC each but it was realised only 21 districts standardised craft centres while others have either sub-standard or do not have such facilities altogether.
The Minister for Trade, Industry and EAC affairs Francois Kanimba, welcomed the initiative to open a tailoring school and the integration of tailoring in the ICPPCs saying it would boost the textile industry.
He said, however, that the ICPCs are not well managed and this could affect the implementation of employment programmes and cause losses in the future.
“We have a very serious challenge in the management of the ICPCs; some of them are managed by people who are not trained. We are encouraging people to join such centres but we need professionals to train them and link them with other institutions to get technical support,” said the minister.