Apparel industry gets HR boost from Ottawa

New website, special training for managers being developed with $3.4 million investment by federal government
By
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/14/2005

The federal government is investing more than $3.4 million in an effort to make the apparel industry more attractive as a career option.

Ottawa is giving the money to the Apparel Human Resources Council to help support the promotion of skills development in the sector.

“Canada’s future competitiveness depends on productive, high-performance workplaces, supported by a highly skilled workforce,” said Eleni Bakopanos, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Social Development. “The apparel sector is an important sector of our economy, and these projects will help to ensure that we have the skilled workforce to remain competitive.”

The council’s mandate is to ensure the Canadian apparel industry attracts and retains a new generation of skilled workers and helps to increase the skill level of its existing workforce.

“This funding will help us to build on our success and promote new careers in the apparel industry,” said Sam Gilmore, vice-president of operations for West Coast Apparel Inc. and co-chair of the Apparel Human Resources Council. “The funding will contribute to the sector’s ability to equip its workforce with the skills necessary to adjust to changing global market and ensure that the Canadian apparel industry remains competitive.”

How the money will be spent

Career awareness — phase two:

This project will promote careers in the apparel industry to individuals between 21 and 30 years of age through developing a career awareness website and a communications and marketing strategy. Funding: $401,877.

Infrastructure:

This project will provide the sector council with stable operating funds allowing it to focus on responding to skills needs, representing the collective interest of industry partners, developing links with the educational system and being results based. Funding: $1,350,408.

Management competencies development program:

Through this project, the council will develop management training programs for the apparel industry that will help to equip the apparel workforce with the skills needed to adjust to trade liberalization and to ensure the industry remains competitive. Funding: $1,651,900.

There are currently 30 sector councils representing traditional industries such as mining and textiles and emerging industries such as biotechnology and environment. The current sector council network covers about 47 per cent of the labour market, the government said.

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