By Nkeko Motloutsi
The Fashion Factory, under the mentorship and leadership of Ms Bulela Dumzela, a Clothing Production lecturer, was officially launched in 2019. This is the pride of TNC. The first fashion factory to be opened in an educational institution. The College is the trailblazer of this massive project which will see students soaring to greater heights and embarking on entrepreneurship on completion of their experiential training.
The main objective of this factory is to empower Clothing Production students who have completed their N6 with practicals in a simulated environment. This is where their skills are honed. They are carefully developed over eighteen (18) months and they come out with a knack for business management. Among other things, they are trained on how to interact efficiently with staff, fellow students and external stakeholders. The right qualifications alone do not cut the mustard. They also need to enhance a set of soft skills required in the workplace to enable them to perform par excellence and meticulously in their prospective workplaces or in their businesses.
On completion of their internship, they qualify for a National (N) Diploma which must be applied for at their campus. Since the opening of the factory, the College has curbed unnecessary expenses as the interns managed to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for staff and students during these trying and challenging times of the lethal pandemic.
Twenty one (21) students have since received their Diplomas from the Department of Higher Education and Training. The cherry on top was when one of the interns in the Fashion Factory won the best designer competition. This contest was done in conjunction with the Embassy of Indonesia. Participants were expected to make their own garment using the “shweshwe” material which is now widely used and sold in Indonesia as well. The Indonesian Embassy sponsored the whole event.