An Analysis of the Relevance of the Garment Construction Techniques Taught at a Polytechnic in Gweru to the Clothing Industry in Gweru
The study sought to analyse the relevance of garment construction techniques taught at a polytechnic in Gweru to the Clothing industry in Gweru. Garment design, pattern making and grading, marker making, cutting, sewing/assembling, pressing and finishing were commonly practiced in all clothing sectors except that with developed countries and industries they mostly relied on Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Manufacture (CAD CAM). A case study research design and mixed methods research was employed. Data was collected from Clothing National Diploma students, lecturers and clothing industry production managers using questionnaires, interviews, observation and document analysis. The findings revealed that the garment construction techniques taught at the polytechnic were relevant to the clothing industry in Gweru even though they did not have contemporary technologies (CAD CAM). Some students were not allowed to participate fully in the production lines due to lack of speed and accuracy. Some production managers were using students on attachment as a form of cheap labour. The research recommends that; Polytechnics should procure contemporary state of the art equipment that supports instruction, they should run continuous clothing production units that will involve students and facilitate for broadening of skills competence for the clothing industry. Polytechnics should have linkages with clothing industry that will incorporate the sharing of advanced equipment and technologies and lecturers should go for industrial attachment so as to gain exposure to contemporary equipment and technology. Industrialists should allow students to participate in all departments/sections and not take advantage of students and use them as cheap labour. Further studies could be done on the essence of setting up clothing production units in polytechnics.
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