A study of the training needs of quality control and production managers in clothing industries in Nairobi
Oigo, E. Bosibori
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This study investigated the competencies and training needs of quality and production managers in large and medium size garment manufacturing firms in Nairobi. It also sought to know the relationship between the firm characteristics and problems they faced, and the relationship between the competencies and training needs of training managers. This information showed issues affecting the industry and proposed ways of dealing with them to improve the quality of clothing manufactured in Kenya. A survey of 35 garment manufacturers was done between June 1996 and April 1997, and in-depth interviews carried out with their quality and production managers. The data collected was analysed then summarized using frequencies and percentages. Most of the firms were large and produced uniforms or undergarments for sale in the local market only. The study found that those making other types of clothing were more likely to experience problems arising from the liberalization of the economy, although all the firms had problems with quality. All of the managers interviewed (13) said they combined the roles of Quality Control Manager and Production Manager but most of their duties involved production management rather than quality control. Fifty-four percent (seven) of the managers had worked for more than ten years in their present jobs and had formal training in subjects related to their jobs. Approximately half of them (46%) felt they did not need further training in managerial skills. All four managers with on-the-job training as opposed to formal training expressed a need for training in technical skills. On the basis of the findings, recommendations were made to the manufacturers to reduce the workload of their managers and take a more active role in purchasing high quality inputs. Technical institutes should develop their quality control courses so that they can conveniently be offered to the busy managers in clothing industries. The government needs to enforce legislation and institute policies to protect the clothing industry from unfair trade practices. This will enable it to revive and develop to its full potential, to cope with competition in a liberalized economy.