Chairman Tobias Schüßler about his visit in two textile manufacturing plants:

One of my highlights of this years stay on the Philippines were the unannounced inspections of two textile manufacturing plants, which have employed some of our participants after their apprenticeship. We are often asked what kind of firms there are, as the textile industry has a rather bad reputation due to bad conditions in Bangladesh and other countries.

What I saw was a rather different from the picture I had from the news. Starting with wages: the employees receive almost double the minimum wages, which enables a life above the poverty line. They also receive free drinks during work hours. Rather surprising was also that the plant was rather large but only contained about 80 employees. Everyone has their own work station and it did not seem crowded at all. Safety instructions were all over the hall in written and picturesque form. Janice, the employee who spontaneously offered a tour through the manufacturing plant, told us that their employees can even make a career here. Starting from assistant to a tailor to tailor to quality management or even administration. This seems a lot different that what we know from TV.

The second manufacturing plant was similar: large working spaces, less than 100 employees and an American Manager who said proudly: „Employees receive long term contracts. I don’t have the time to employ new people and train them all the time. There’s barely any fluctuation as workers are well picked and receive benefits so they stay.“

Leslie Nabong, director of Project Life, explains: „we make contact with potential employers before we recommend them to our participants. This way, we ensure that working conditions are satisfactory and that the firms don’t discriminate after age, religion or gender.“

These visits encourage my belief, that with the 90€ that the apprenticeship costs, a life can certainly be improved long-term and people can get a well employment.