International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Programme Re-curriculation: An Experience at the University of Johannesburg
Kem Ramdass

The clothing industry globally has undergone rapid change within the past few decades. The production of fashion has evolved into a multi faceted industry that is not only concerned with the manufacture of clothing but also the systems of production, distribution, diffusion, reception, adoption and consumption which drive the fashion industry. Within the last 10 years there has been a notable drop in applications for this programme even though there is a high employability rate with demand exceeding supply. A number of reasons for this trend have been identified. The South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu) estimates 13400 jobs were lost in the sector in the first 11 months of 2009. Sactwu researcher Etienne Vlok says that in the mid-2000s, the industry was losing about 20000 jobs a year, but in the past three years this has dropped to between 12000 to 14000 jobs a year (Mathews, 2010). This trend is also evident in both the United States of America as well as the United Kingdom as Higher Education Institutions experienced difficulties in recruiting students for textile and clothing manufacturing programmes due to a negative public perception of the industry.This has brought with it the need to revise the Clothing Management programme in order to keep abreast with the changes in the industry and to align the programme to meet the regional demand for graduates. This paper explores the expectations of key industry, education and training constituencies in South Africa, and particularly in Gauteng. Empirical data was gathered through a series of focus group and individual interviews and analysed in terms of the idyllic relationship between education and the workplace. In the development of these insights, the study aims to inform the process of re-curriculation in higher education in South Africa (Cooper and Schindler, 2006).

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