Why Choose a Career in the Apparel Sector?

Career in the Apparel Sector

Dr. Roopak Vasishtha, CEO & DG
Apparel, Made-Ups and Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council

The apparel industry is one of the fast-growing industries in India. The apparel industry plays a vital role in boosting the country’s economy. Apparently, one may assume that career in the fashion industry means fashion designing or costume designing. However, the truth is that there are wide range of career opportunities in the apparel sector.

Industry Overview

The domestic textiles and apparel industry contributes 5% to India’s GDP, 7% of industry output in value terms, and 12% of the country’s export earnings. India is the 6th largest exporter of textiles and apparel in the world. The textiles and apparel industry in India is the 2nd largest employer in the country providing direct employment to 45 million people and 100 million people in the allied industries. India has also become the second-largest manufacturer of PPE in the world. More than 600 companies in India are certified to produce PPEs today, whose global market worth is expected to be over $92.5 bn by 2025, up from $52.7 bn in 2019.

The textiles and apparel industry in India stretches across the entire value chain from fiber, yarn, fabric to apparel. The domestic textiles and apparel industry stood at $108.5 bn in 2019-20 of which $75 bn was domestically consumed while the remaining portion worth $28.4 bn was exported to the world market. Furthermore, the domestic consumption of $75 bn was divided into apparel at $55 bn, technical textiles at $15 bn and home furnishings at $5 bn. While exports comprised of apparel exports at $12 bn; home textiles exports at $4.8 bn; fabric exports at $4 bn; yarn exports at $3.8 bn; fibre exports at $1.8 bn and others at $2 bn.

Career Growth Drivers:

  • Presence of entire value chain system.
  • Huge and growing domestic market.
  • Rising per capita income, higher disposable income.
  • Preferences for brands.
  • Organized retail landscape & e-Commerce.
  • Demand for skilled manpower.
  • Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Schemes by the Government.

Training Requirements and Certification:

Skill Gap in the Apparel Industry is to a tune of appx 40 Lac. This gap has further increased due to the exodus of migrant workers working in the Apparel industry to their native places during the Pandemic. The requirement of skilled manpower has further gone up with the perceived shift which is expected from many countries in the world considering to change their apparel buying option from China.

The traffic is likely to land in India. So, the requirement of skilled manpower would be much larger in the coming years.

In its way forward, Apparel, Made-Ups and Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council (AMHSSC), which is an apex body for skill development and certification for this sector, is in process to develop Qualification Packs for skill development in this segment and have been closely working with the industry to develop Pan-India training ecosystem for providing skilled manpower in the near future. The council has aligned its skilling capabilities to the industry requirements and is making an all-out effort in ensuring that the industry requirements for skilled and certified apparel-related job roles with relevant technical capabilities are met. hence giving a boost to the growth of the sector along with creating employment opportunities for the youth of the country.

In our country 90% of the workforce works in the unorganized sector. Most of them and even those in the organized sector, have learnt skills through traditional means. They know the job but many lack the knowledge as to why they are performing those functions and the details of their job roles, thereof. As such, they need to be informed of the details of their respective job roles. In many cases there are many skill gaps that need to be plugged in.

Educational Qualifications:

The eligibility of an individual for apparel industry jobs relies majorly on their educational status. The more qualified an individual is for a particular job role, the more flexibility and authority you have over your own assignments. In order to achieve this, one has to be adept in their areas. This will assure a refinement of the previous qualifications for a lucrative salary-based profession.

Earlier the skilling ecosystem was limited to a few bigger institutions, like NIFT and Pearl Academy etc which had limited capacity. Moreover, for the middle level supervisory roles literally no courses used to be available. This was creating double problem for the ecosystem, whereby on one hand lesser youth could get educated and employed and on the other hand the industry was also deprived of getting skilled middle management personnel.

With the spread of ‘Skill India’ mission program started by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, this void could be filled to a greater extent. Now, many Short-Term Training (STT) trainings are available under the Apparel, Made-Ups and Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council, like Fashion Designer, Asst Fashion Designer, Merchandiser, Compliance Manager, Boutique Manager etc where the urban youth can undergo skill courses which are connected with sure jobs. This way, while the urban youth can undergo aspirational courses, on the other hand the industry is getting skilled manpower at the Managerial and Supervisory levels. Students also have choice to undergo B.Voc and M.Voc courses in the Universities.

Job Opportunities:

A skilled candidate can find opportunities in apparel production house (export houses), buying house, retail, design house, textile mills, starting own business and overseas jobs etc.

Entrepreneurship Opportunity:

In all the Trainings under the Short Term Training stream of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), entrepreneurship model is imbibed. In fact, there are some courses for rural, as well as urban youth, such as Boutique Manager for the urban youth and Self-Employed Tailor for the rural youth which actually promote Entrepreneurship. Lacs of youth, after undergoing these courses, have started their own boutiques or Tailoring shops in the country. AMH-SSC continuously thrives to boast entrepreneurship in the country by offering these courses to the urban, as well as the rural youth of the country.

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