Chimi Dema | Tsirang

The ongoing training on western garment tailoring has inspired Cheten Norbu, one of the two tailors in Dagapela, Dagana to explore his new skills.

A National Institute for Zorig Chusum graduate, Cheten Norbu specialises in sewing the national dress and religious items. He has been in the tailoring business for more than two years.

However, with the new knowledge from the three-week training, Cheten Norbu plans to expand his business and provide all sorts of tailoring services including western attire to his customers.

He said that although he is skilled in tailoring local garments, recently he has been losing clients without the skills on dressmaking.

“With an increasing enrollment of armed forces and DeSuups, I can sense good market prospects in the future if our skills are enhanced,” he said. “Today, we are importing all the uniforms.”

Another participant, Yeshi Tenzin said that the country today has only about 15 percent of local tailors skilled in tailoring western garments.

“Such training on enhancing skills is timely and important,” he said. “I feel that opening a tailor shop exclusively for western garments would be a good business in the country as we don’t have one yet.”

Yeshi Tenzin is an employee in one of the tailor shops in Gelephu. “So far I am enjoying the lessons. They are all doable.”

Funded by the Government of India, the western garment tailoring training is a critical capabilities development (CCD) programme under the labour ministry.

Trainers from Lekdrup Skills Development Institute in Thimphu are conducting the training in Damphu, Tsirang.

Trainer Sangay Zangmo said that the participants would be trained to sew trousers, uniforms for the armed force and technical training institutes as well as nursing dresses in the following weeks.

Of the 20 participants from Gelephu, Tsirang and Dagana, 12 are female.

Senior programme officer with the labour ministry’s regional office in Gelephu, Ugyen Dorji said that the advanced tailoring course was targeted for private sector employees who had at least three years of experience in the business.

“The objective is to enhance the skills of these employees who have basic skills in tailoring,” he said.

Proposed in the 2018-2019 fiscal budget, similar training initiated by the regional office in Gelephu were approved in three dzongkhags including Bumthang and Sarpang.

While training in Bumthang focuses on western garments, the one in Sarpang focuses on advanced cooking skills.