Textile Industry could create over 50,000 jobs year-on-year, says expert Rajeev Arora

According to Rajeev Arora, Director of Sainath Education Institute Limited and an expert in the textile and apparel industry, there is potential to create over 50,000 jobs year on year from the country’s textile industry.

Arora, who has been in the industry for over 39 years, believes that the sector is suffering due to over dependence on the importation of raw materials.

“Most of the fabrics coming into the country are imported. In reality, if we are exporting $600 million, close to about $450 million is coming as raw material into the country. The net income is only $150 million,” he said.

Arora, who has created more than 17,000 jobs in the textile industry from 2015-2017, believes that the government should encourage a local textile industry boom by only allowing the basic raw material, lint, into the country.

“If you import the basic raw material lint and convert it to fabrics, we will be creating more jobs and value addition.”

To achieve this job creation, Arora says the government must facilitate the building of textile mills which has been plagued by the lack of ready land provided by the government for investors to build textile mills, the high cost of electricity, and a lack of an effluent treatment plant.

In 2022, Arora established Sainath Education Institute Limited to train manufacturing workers and bridge the gap in the lack of skilled labor.

“There was not a government plan to develop a curriculum that was industry-based which led to a lot of challenges for manufacturers to do the training and the manufacturing,” said Arora.

The institution trains students for six weeks and facilitates a two-week internship in various EPZs.

The training developed according to the needs of the industry, focuses on two areas; technical skills which include understanding the machines, and soft skills.

“We have a very good success rate. We have trained 548 students and 502 students have been employed between May and December 2022,” Arora said.

Arora said the group is establishing a private EPZ zone in Kiambu to take advantage of the available local and international markets.

Last week, industrialisation principal secretary Juma Mukhwana said the government is eager to strengthen the manufacturing capacity and create jobs by revitalizing collapsed textile companies like Ken KNIT.

Arora, who also worked as advisor to the CS Ministry of Industry Trade and Cooperatives, and a member of the board of AWEP and KAAA, among others, is currently establishing a private EPZ zone in Kiambu to take advantage of the available local and international markets.

 

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