One hundred and forty female workers of the Brandix Group graduated after successful completion of the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement and Career Enhancement) programme at a ceremony held recently at the Brandix Centre of Inspiration, Ekala.
The P.A.C.E. programme, conducted at Brandix Casualwear, Ratmalana from October 2012 to February this year, saw graduates being awarded for "Best Overall Performance" and "Best Results from P.A.C.E. End Line Survey."
Awards for best overall performances were awarded to V. N. Sandamali, H. A. S. Prabodhani and Mahesha Serasingha. K. M. H. S. Gamlath was placed 1st in the ‘Best Results from P.A.C.E. End Line Survey' category, with M. S. Dhammika Fernando and J. A. C. Manel placed second and third, respectively.
"The Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. programme uses the extensive experience gained through training thousands of female garment workers in Asia and the Far East since 2007," said Anusha Alles, Head of CSR for the Brandix Group. "True to its mission, it has helped many Brandix associates grow and advance in their personal and work lives."
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Dotti Hatcher, Executive Director, Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. Global Initiatives said: "Over the next many years, we hope that when faced with challenges that you might feel are insurmountable, you will reach back and draw from the knowledge and experiences that you have gained in your classes, the strength to go on. For it is that strength and knowledge that will lead to your continued growth and advancement, and to that of your family, your communities and your society."
The Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. programme is a life and work skills education programme designed to positively impact female garment workers in factories that make Gap Inc. products. The programme provides workers with foundation skills, technical training and support to help them advance in the workplace and in their personal lives. Female garment workers participating in the programme take part in eight modules of life skills education including communication skills, problem-solving, time and stress management, health and nutrition, financial literacy and gender equality. Programme participants also receive enhanced technical skills training. Research shows that Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. graduates are more productive, have lower rates of absenteeism and are promoted faster than factory workers who do not participate in the programme.
The Brandix Group employs more than 47,000 people at 42 manufacturing plants in Sri Lanka, at a 1,000- acre industrial park in India and a large operation in Bangladesh. A preferred supplier to many global apparel labels, Brandix is credited with many firsts, among them, the first apparel manufacturer in the world to build a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum - rated Green factory certified by the US Green Building Council (USGBC); the first in Sri Lanka to build a LEED Gold certified office complex; and the builder of the first Supply Chain City in South Asia -- the 1,000- acre Brandix India Apparel City (BIAC).