Employment opportunities for graduates abound
Before our first democratic elections, the South African clothing and garment industry was at an all-time high. As we were sanctioned from the rest of the world, for the right reasons, it meant that the industry was booming due to the lack of cheap imports flooding the market. This all changed post 1994 and until Covid-19 hit us, our fashion industry was significantly affected due to a penchant among consumers for garments from Asia or other countries – due to their price. Enter Covid-19 and there has been a swing back towards ‘local is lekker’ as international supply chains shut down. This has been nothing more than a saviour for the local fashion industry.
Given the clothing manufacturing industry in South Africa contributes around one-third of GDP it is an important sector to invest in, which is why government’s Textile, Footwear and Clothing Master Plan intends increasing the amount of locally made garments in-stores from 44% to 65% by 2030. If it succeeds it could create 120 0000 more jobs, bringing the total number of work opportunities across the entire fashion supply chain to 330 000.
It’s against this background that the STADIO School of Fashion has launched its Diploma in Clothing Production. With such a renewed optimism in the local industry, there are now more employment opportunities for graduates across the fashion supply chain. These range from pattern makers, garment constructionists, fashion designers to quality assurance officers, and more. Further, the more that consumers support “local” the more cost-effective garments are, meaning South Africa becomes more competitive when our borders fully open up again.
The three-year Diploma is saturated with up-to-date trends in terms of good practices (both nationally and internationally), creative, technical and technological content to ensure that graduates contribute to the broader transformation of the South African cultural and economic context.
“The fashion industry is made up of far more than designers and seamstresses; there is an entire supply chain of opportunities that exist within it and that require a certain skillset. We focus on all the aspects of the production chain, from design implementation to product execution and include modules such as Textile Theory, Apparel Design & Production, Business Processes, Digital Practices and Entrepreneurship,” comments Mariette Smit, STADIO School of Fashion’s Programme Coordinator.
“We are proud of our local fashion industry as it plays a notable role in our economic development, both from being a key financial contributor as well as a job creator and are delighted that we are able to help mould the industry’s next generation of talent. Upon graduation, students can enter the industry as part of an already established production chain, aid in creating such a production chain, or even initiate their own brand,” says Smith.