"Through this partnership we have worked towards development of academic management infrastructures for advanced levels of employer engagement through proactive relationship."
Dr Lynne Hammond, UKIERI Project Manager – London College of Fashion
With that as a background, the UKIERI collaborative project between the London College of Fashion (LCF), UK and Pearl Academy of Fashion, India came into existence. The partnership has analysed, studied, evaluated, codifi ed and delivered a systematic course on best practices that could optimise the Supply Chain Management process thereby, effectively, strengthening the fashion industry.
Dr Lynne Hammond, Manager of the International Educations Consultancy Offi ce (IECO), London College of Fashion, and the UKIERI Project Leader from UK side, quotes, “We explored two key themes underpinning successful employer engagement in student work-based learning. We have worked towards development of academic management infrastructures for advanced levels of employer engagement through proactive relationships where employers are involved in the design and delivery and development of new curriculum units that are aligned to international supply chain processes and the fast fashion business model.”
In order to assess and understand the current market forces in operations, the partnership made a number of visits to manufacturers, retailers, design houses and warehouses. The extensive surveys done by 70 students during their internships created more awareness within them and the companies involved, of the existing problems and possible solutions. The student visit programme between the partners gave both sides a realistic perspective of the challenges across countries and several papers were also presented on it.
A repository has also been developed as a meaningful tool of information and knowledge exchange about the Indian and UK fashion industry. This aims to sustain benefits from the partnership in the long run. The project was also successful in embedding professional and technical skills into the creative fashion curriculum in both the reputed fashion academies thereby effectively tackling high priority skills shortage in a growing sector.
This project has responded directly to the need of universities to show leadership in developing courses that are refl ecting industry practice and servicing the needs of the employers. Nandita Abraham, Head of the Department of Business & Technology, Pearl Academy of Fashion states, “Fast Fashion is becoming one of the most successful supply chain business models of the global 21st century fashion industry. The pressure to reduce costs and speed delivery has increased the need for professional and technically competent design and product development teams to solve these market force challenges. Under the UKIERI grant, and in partnership with London School of Fashion, I am glad that an effective method to address this issue could be found.”