Creating prospects in the clothing industry (develoPPP for jobs)

Project description

Title: Textile Training and Career Development Project with the Hawassa Industrial Park
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ethiopia 
Lead executing agency: Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH), Hawassa Industrial Park Investors Association (IA)
Overall term: 2019 to 2021



The Ethiopian economy relies predominantly on agriculture. In the long term, however, the sector does not provide enough jobs for the estimated 54 million people in the Ethiopian labour force. The government is thus striving to develop the economy towards production and industrialisation.

There is considerable potential to be found in the manufacturing industry, particularly in the textile and clothing industry. The government believes that this branch of industry could help Ethiopia become a middle-income country by 2025. The global market offers significant export opportunities. At the same time, this is a sector with great potential for relatively unskilled workers. In addition, Ethiopia can establish entire production chains from harvesting cotton through to producing finished products.

The country is therefore making a great effort to create an environment that attracts as many investors as possible. In cooperation with the private sector and global actors, it is developing specialised industrial parks. There are currently five such parks for the textile and clothing industry, the largest being the Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP). This strategy is obviously a success, as the sector is recording very strong growth. In the HIP alone, a total of 21 international clothing manufacturers, including the clothing company Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH), are already producing goods for the American and European market.

In order for this positive development to continue, it is essential for young people to be well trained. At present, business and industry are neither sufficiently involved in the education sector and nor for the long term. For example, there is hardly any discussion between companies and trainers about the demand for workers or about training needs.

The inadequately qualified workforce from the lower to middle management level is particularly challenging for the companies in the HIP. High staff fluctuation hinders efficient production in the factories. Poorly trained managers contribute to low productivity. Many companies therefore resort to international experts. However, these are expensive and further diminish business productivity. Moreover, the training courses are not particularly practice-oriented and lack the necessary links to industry. On top of this, there is a lack of appropriate, centralised careers guidance and placement services that reconcile supply and demand for skilled workers.


The skills of employees at the lower and middle management level in the textile and clothing industry in the Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP) have improved.



The develoPPP for jobs project develops and promotes training programmes and offers careers advice services that are closely aligned with skill needs. In this way, the project enhances the management capacities and soft skills of current and potential employees in order to create prospects in the textile and clothing industry in the HIP.

Furthermore, through cooperation with the Hawassa Polytechnic College, Hawassa University and other universities, it strengthens local educational institutions in the long term and addresses potential employees (in other words, students and graduates). The project is closely based on the existing education system and has a strong partner in the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MoSHE). Practical modules in the vocational education and training, as well as internship programmes, provide aspiring managers with valuable insights into practical work. This procedure is based on the dual training system in Germany. PVH and other companies in the HIP share their experience with students, graduates and their lecturers, thus encouraging the transfer of knowledge and skills from industry to public institutions and vice versa.

In advisory centres, trainees and students obtain not only guidance, but also skills assessments to aid them in organising training courses and their further professional career. The project processes success stories and experience gained in such a way that they can also be applied in other industrial parks and regions. Overall, the development partnership gives young people the opportunity, in close cooperation with industry, to gain access to practical and demand-oriented vocational training and university education. In this way, the project contributes to improving the education system.


  • Six companies had agreed to take part in the initial trial of the internship programme by September 2019.
  • Workshops have been held to plan the first test phase for training beginning in 2019.
  • Teaching for trainees and students began at the end of September 2019. The first internships took place in the companies in October.
  • Trainers, universities and the companies from the HIP have taken part in soft skill training courses.
  • The first summer school was held successfully in the summer of 2019. Altogether, three teachers from the Hawassa Polytechnic College and six lecturers from the Hawassa University successfully participated, gaining important insights into work in the HIP.