This first project was funded by ESRA (Education Sector Reform Assistance), a component of USAID training program.

Textile industry contributes more than 60% to the total export earnings of Pakistan, accounts for 46% of the total manufacturing and provides employment to 38% of the manufacturing labor force. There are currently 700,000 people skilled and unskilled, employed only in this sub-sector and there is potential of increasing the employment by more than 100% over the next five years.

Beyond 2004, when quota restrictions are no longer applicable, Pakistan will have to compete in the international market for its share of exports based on quality and price. Both these factors are to a great extent based on the literacy and skill level of the worker.

Program activities are divided into following components.

  • Garment machine operation skills training
  • Industrial literacy
  • Reproductive health


The training program has been designed specifically for the benefit of the sewing operator in terms of quality of work life and financial benefit through improvement in terms of production and quality.

Since these benefits are largely dependent upon on efficient systematic and profitable employer, the training program along with the garment worker focuses on the improvement of the work management and the working environment.

                       Basic Operator training and education                                    Supervisors training

                      Advance operator training and Multi Skilling                        Quality controllers training


Basic operator training & education

Trainee Selection

Following are the essential criteria important to a garment factory. A candidate being selected for the training who intends to use the skill gained as a source of his / her livelihood should be tested / assessed on

  • Health & Eyesight
  • Skill Potential
  • Education and Knowledge
  • Dependability
  • Quality Assurance

 Basic Operator Training Program

This training is a combination of exercises and basic lectures for the operators to acquire basic sewing machine handling, threading and machine adjustment skills. It includes sessions on understanding the production requirements in terms of quantity and quality. All the training will be done on single needle lockstitch and over lock machines.
Training will include:-

  • Orientation of Apparel Manufacturing
  • Orientation to the Stitching Department, Quality and its Systems
  • Service Rules and Job Details
  • Basic Training
  • Use & parts of machine
  • Threads, needles & adjustments
  • Care of the machine
  • Common Problems / faults, and their solutions
  • Handling & Movements
  • Dexterity, Speed & Quality Exercises
  • Communication of Operations and Performance

On successful completion of this basic operator training session, the participants will be able to secure placement as an entry level garment machine operator. With few weeks of consistent work the operator will be able to execute his / her sewing process at a required pace for an eight (8) hours shift and be able to understand job specifications.

– Advance Operator Training

This training is largely operation specific to make an operator reach his / her optimum level. Candidate selected for the advance training will get trained on his / her particular, operation, educated on special tools and machine attachments on completion of this training session and with a few weeks of consistent work the participant of this module of the program will perform at a much faster pace than recorded before undergoing this training.

The objective of training in this session is to enhance the employability skills of the worker, gearing him / her with techniques for better swifter operations to be more productive and hence better his income.

Training modules in this session would cover

  • Machine Control
  • Control of Fabric
  • Movement Control
  • Pickup, align and dispose exercises

– Supervisors Training

This part of the training gives the supervisors of a garment production line an understanding of how to best utilize the expertise and skill of the operators.
For a supervisor to effectively use the operators, they must know what the correct / reasonable goals for each operation are? Training includes:

  • Time study and line balancing
  • Motion study, tools and attachments
  • Production specifications and systems literacy
  • Production system, and line engineering

– Quality Controllers training

Many quality control system or procedures used are such that they hinder production rather then help. Workshops under this part of the program will give insight on proactive inspection methods so that quality checking will:

  • Find faults and give feedbacks to operator with minimum wastage of time and concentration.
  • Create and use the faults database to suggest long – term improvement strategies by training for continued problems or critical supervision until a specific problem is removed.


This training program will impart on work ethics, safety, ergonomics, and environments. The curriculum broadly covers the following areas

  • Occupational Safety and Health
  • Occupational Hazards in Pakistan, their causes and effects
  • Key Health and Safety Laws in Pakistan.
  • Remedies and Measures
  • Ergonomics
  • Work Ethics
  • Productivity.


This program will cover areas pertaining to:

  • Safe Motherhood
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Substance Abuse
  • Family Planning
  • Family Rearing Awareness.

Key Features of The Skill Based Industrial Literacy Program (SBIL):

Today Garment workers face a unique set of challenges demanding a broad range of skills and industry understanding in order to compete. Based on this an innovative Skill Based Industrial Literacy Program has been put together. This program builds on the existing infrastructure by making more effective and targeted use of the same. Some key features of the proposed program are:

  • The focus of the program is to improve the literacy of the workers and simultaneously provide them skills training.
  • Senior Volunteer in garments sewing training from South Korea and Japan are being invited to form the lead consultants for the training program.
  • Partnerships have been forged with the Export Promotion Bureau, the various training institutes, Factory Management and other training institutions in order to provide a well-coordinated and focused program to the workers.
  • Sun Development Foundation shall play the lead role and would be responsible for coordinating between all the partners in order to ensure effective and efficient program delivery.
  • Latest sewing skill development kit is being developed by experts at Textile Institute of Pakistan incorporating latest technical skills, which will form the backbone of the training course.

Participating Factories

  • M/s. Abdullah Apparels
  • M/s. Malik Textile
  • M/s. C.I.S Garments
  • M/s. Rajby Industries
  • M/s. Commodities and Textiles
  • M/s. Knitworks (Pvt) Ltd.
  • M/s. IBC Trading & Agency Co.
  • M/s. Citizen Apparels
  • M/s. Vision International
  • M/s. J & M
  • M/s. Sunflower (Pvt.) Ltd.

Stitching Machine Operator Training (Scheme) [ 2006 to 2008 ]

Considering the fact that the textile & garment industry contributes more than 60% of the total export earnings of Pakistan & is always in high demand for skilled machine operators. SDF in collaboration with Ministry of Textile & Industries Govt. of Pakistan established a centralized training unit of Skilled Machine Operator Training (SMOT) program in 17 factories of Karachi.

  • A total of 1605 garment machine operators were successfully trained with 100% job placement with in the same factories.

ISMOT Training Centre at J&M Clothing & Co. [ 2008 to 2012 ]

Since 2008 through private sector partnership SDF is running their training centers of Industrial Stitching Machine Operator Training (ISMOT) based upon Kurt Salmon Associates Syllabus (KSA) USA at J&M Clothing & Co and Z&M Style.

  • Every month 30 to 40 females are inducted as trainees to become garment stitching operators in two months.
  • The first month in training center and the second in production line.
  • During training the trainees receive a stipend provided by the factory and after training every single trainee is absorbed in the factory.
  • 2720 trainer are trained so far.

Out come of this training

  • International training standards
  • Qualified operators will have adequate machine knowledge (sitting posture, safety measures, garment & machine handling)
  • Increased work efficiency upto 50% on (single needle, double needle, O/lock etc) machine operations.
  • 100% job placement.


Institute Management Committee STEVTA Govt of Sind    [ 2012 ]

Sindh Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority Govt. of Sindh (STEVTA) has nominated SDF as a management committee head of following two female training centers:

  • Govt. polytechnic institute for women Landhi (near Baber market) Karachi.
  • Govt polytechnic institute for Korangi 3 ½ No. (Gulshan-e-Muhhamadi) Karachi.

Both institutes are located in densely populated areas occupied by lower middle class to poor citizens.
These are purpose built buildings fully equipped but with non related technology with no connection to the industry.

We have established the following workshops in these institutes:

  • Mobile phone repairers (established in May 2012)
  • Laptop repair (established in Sep 2012)

Our assignment target for these institutes is as follow:

  • Help with the management of operation of the institute.
  • Linkage between the industry and the institute.
  •  Train the trainers.
  • Curriculum improvement.

Mobile: 59 students are trained to date
Laptop: 46 students are trained to date

We are planning to establish the following workshops in these institutes:

    • Montessori teacher training.
    • Make up artist
    • Medical technician

                                                                    For this purpose we are working with (SES) Senior Experten Service Germany.

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