Global innovations firm Alvanon has launched Motif, a unique apparel knowledge and continual e-learning hub to help solve the skills’ gap within the global apparel industry and solve the issues faced by individual firms. The skills gap in apparel is getting wider all the while the tools needed to close the chasm are falling further and further behind. With Motif, Alvanon is providing a way for apparel experts to offer training industry-wide. Plus, it allows employers to purchase the course on behalf of their staff, and it gives employees the flexibility to learn at their own pace. In Alvanon’s ‘The State of Skills in the Apparel Industry 2018’ report, which was based on a survey of 642 industry insiders, the company has revealed 73 per cent of executives rank employee development and learning as a pressing business issue, second only to going digital.
“We came up with the idea for survey because of the things we were hearing from clients about the lack of fundamental skills and them having a hard time hiring people and finding the right talent and the sudden need for this new blend of skills due to digitisation and automation,” said Catherine Cole, Director of Corporate Development at Alvanon and Executive Director of Motif. “It came down to lacking a common language across the supply chain, and it was obvious that there was a lack of fundamentals.”
“Once people are in the job force, there has to be a way to provide continuing education opportunities throughout or you’ll be hiring new people every 9 to 12 months, Cole said, adding the latter options is really not an option at all. “Sixty-two per cent of employers said they have trouble finding people with the right skills. And there were a lot of gripes that fresh grads aren’t graduating with the right commercial skills, and they don’t understand the business and production.”
While three of the initial courses will be led by Alvanon Executives, the platform doesn’t carry the Alvanon branding because it’s meant to be a standalone resource that will feature a variety of industry experts offering a wide curriculum. One of the first courses is an adaptation of Alvanon Senior Advisor Ed Gribbin’s two-day, in-person workshop on the variables that go into apparel costing. The Mechanics of Fit class is designed for those in product development who need to review the fundamentals, and a course on the fit form will instruct attendees on how to do proper fitting on a mannequin.
Pratt’s Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (Pratt BF+DA) will also offer a course on sustainability in fashion that’s designed to provide those not on the sustainability teams at their companies with the know how to get up to speed on the topic. Future courses will dive into 3D, sizing, textiles and product development and specific aspects of sustainability. “The idea is, this should be bigger than Alvanon. We’ll be one of the publishers on it, but there will be leading apparel industry figures from around the world. We need collaboration more than ever and corporates to buy into continual online learning,” concluded Cole.