A pilot project has been initiated to train clothing manufacturing workers on the SCORE methodology, which can help boost the productivity and agility for 15 selected firms. The project has adapted to the COVID-19 crisis by finding innovative ways for trainers to keep in touch with firms that kept operating during lockdown.
SCORE training combines practical classroom training with in-factory consulting. Drawing on international experiences in the manufacturing and service sectors this helps Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) participate in global supply chains.
This project deploys a train-the-trainer approach, relying on experienced trainers, who have exposure to clothing manufacturing improvement in other settings internationally. These trainers run a pilot project at the same time as teaching local trainers, who are leaders in their field, to roll out the programme. The pilot takes place in South Africa’s three major clothing manufacturing regions of KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng.
Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) is an International Labour Organisation (ILO) global programme that aims to improve productivity, competitiveness and working conditions in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
SCORE Training is designed to bring about long-lasting improvements in supplier practices by highlighting the link between productivity and workplace practices: a win-win for employees and employers.
The clothing and textile manufacturing sector in South Africa has faced many challenges over the years. In the early 2000s, the industry employed an estimated 100,000 people. Today that number has dwindled to 54,000 jobs. The sector typically employs mostly women, who are vital to socio-economic progress in the country. In order to compete locally and abroad, the sector needs to improve productivity and competitiveness; cue SCORE: an internationally proven ILO training and capacity building programme.
SCORE’s innovative methodology will ensure the sector remains competitive by improving skills and production practices, rather than through reducing wages and compromising working conditions. Workers are protected and jobs are preserved. This people-centric approach will help the sector achieve its goals with a view to protecting existing jobs and encouraging the creation of new ones. The broader aim of the project is to institutionalise the use of the SCORE methodology within the clothing sector, and to promote its adoption in other sectors.
The project has adapted to the COVID-19 crisis, with evaluations from the International SCORE Expert Trainer on local trainers now being conducted virtually.
An appointed International SCORE Expert Trainer trains local trainers on the following topics:
1. Workplace cooperation - A foundation for business success
2. Quality - Managing continuous improvement
3. Productivity through cleaner production
4. Workforce management
5. Safety and health at work - a platform for productivity
A webinar was held to reflect on the lessons learned by trainers, employers and workers from the participating firms and the supporting institutions. It also explored the potential for rolling out SCORE to additional manufacturing sectors and industries.
Since March 2020 South Africa has been in lockdown. One of SCORE’s strengths lie in its emphasis on safe workplaces in an inclusive way, watch how this has helped the project adapt to the current global COVID-19 crisis.