H&M Creates A New Paradigm For Skilled Labour In Bangladesh

By Sahba Sobhani, Acting Programme Manager, Business Call to Action

H&M has announced its commitment to the Business Call to Action (BCtA) as part of its goal to make continuous and lasting improvements for the garment industry in Bangladesh. The company will invest in skills training that will benefit an estimated 5000 individuals by 2016.

H&M plays an important role in Bangladesh’s economy and is committed to practices, which not only improve incomes for local workers, but also those which will benefit women in the region. The company’s initiative as a member of the BCtA is to create a Skill Development Centre of Excellence to help raise the levels of vocational training and provide certificates which in turn help increase productivity, as well as the long term employability of industry workers. If successful, the retailer also plans to establish a certified and replicable model for training and support for skilled labour within the export Ready-made Garment (RMG) industry.

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Swedish Development Agency (SIDA) at the BCtA platform as another step in our commitment to support long term social development in Bangladesh. The training will raise the workers’ level of education, provide them with skills required for development of the industry and increase their employability,” says Helena Helmersson, global head of sustainability at H&M.

Through its expertise and focus on long-term sustainability, H&M’s focus on skills and development training, ensuring better workplace conditions and social dialogue in countries like Bangladesh is a win-win for all. The Business Call to Action welcomes companies such as H&M that support women and work to address gaps in skills training in an effort to develop business models with a positive impact on people living in poverty.

Editor’s Note: This blog first appeared on Guardian Sustainable Business and is reproduced with the permission of the author.

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