Pakistan’s garment sector is facing a shortage of skilled workforce across manufacturing hubs in the country. As per Sheikh Luqman Amin, North Zone Chairman, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) the shortage deprived the country of taking the full advantage of its access to the European Union market though efforts are being made to upgrade the industry on modern lines and enhance the export volume in many fields.
For instance there is a great scope of growth in the value-added garment industry in the export-oriented city of Sialkot, which is produces 40 per cent of the world’s martial arts apparel. But the expansion of Sialkot’s value-added garment sector can only be made possible through the removal of hurdles like lack of skilled labor, expensive electricity and irregular gas supply. There is a large scope of additional growth after the continuation of GSP Plus status for another decade but there is no roadmap in place to produce professionals that can be absorbed by the industry. What is needed is amendments in labor laws and revising the age limit of laborers working in the industrial sector.
But despite the skilled manpower shortage, Pakistan is making great strides in apparel exports. Garment exports to the US grew 62 per cent in January to September 2021.