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Fashion industry lacks skilled professionals, claims report

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Fibre2Fashion
Published
today Oct 4, 2018
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The fashion industry today is facing a crisis in terms of skilled professionals, according to a survey by the global fashion innovation company Alvanon. The US-based company has partnered with 13 apparel organisations to survey professionals throughout the fashion industry on the skills gaps, learning, and talent development needs within the apparel sector.



The results are revealed in ‘The State of Skills in the Apparel Industry 2018’ special report, which represents the views of 642 executives, HR leaders, industry practitioners, and employees across the international supply chain, Alvanon said in a media statement.

According to the survey report, one of the biggest issues facing brands and vendors is hiring people with the right skills, with 62 per cent of respondents saying they are struggling to fill certain positions. The data further shows that respondents are largely unhappy with the training being provided, and 30 per cent are actively dissatisfied. The report states that the imperatives for business now include figuring out how to engage employees and provide professional development, or risk losing them.

“As the apparel industry begins to recognise and implement digitalisation as a way of delivering on speed, customisation and transparency, it is revealing gaps in the specialised skills set of its workforce. Our survey findings conclude that failure to respond to skill shortages will result in the generalisation of poor market practices and adversely impact business performance across the supply chain,” Janice Wang, CEO of Alvanon said.

“Improving the apparel industry by upping its skills is, ultimately, a collective responsibility shared between all players in the value chain and the individual professionals themselves. This survey clearly shows where we need to start and that we need to start immediately,” she added.

The survey is part of Alvanon’s ongoing efforts to address the training and development needs of the apparel industry worldwide. The report aims to highlight labour force challenges faced by the industry and prompt readers to question their own company’s state of affairs in terms of training and strategy or lack of it. The 642 respondents comprised one-third of workers from North America, one-third Asia Pacific, one-fourth Central and South America, the rest from Europe and others.

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