A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between MAS Holdings and the University of Peradeniya recently, signalling another milestone in MAS’s strategy of working with universities and academic institutions across Sri Lanka. The discussions were initiated and the agreement facilitated by MAS Intimates Linea Clothing in Kandy, who will become the primary partner in this collaboration.
The global fashion industry is evolving rapidly and this agreement is a step in the right direction to bridge the ever widening gap between apparel industry needs and academic offering. Furthermore, this collaboration will provide university students with technical capabilities, competencies and professional work experience.
MAS recently commenced a structured 4 year soft skill development programme at the University of Moratuwa. “Skills for Work” is now included in to the curriculum of the Textile Engineering and Fashion Designing departments. Skills for Work prepares graduates to become more marketable and enter the corporate world equipped with the right set of technical and soft skills. The curriculum is developed by MAS in collaboration with the university.
Similarly, in the partnership with the University of Peradeniya, MAS seeks to create a training ground for industry related research, a platform for sharing industry requirements whilst developing the soft skills needed to thrive in the global fashion industry. The apparel industry capacity will be developed to meet Sri Lanka’s positioning as an innovative and sustainable sourcing destination.
“MAS strives to differentiate as an innovation partner for global fashion brands and we continuously need a variety of intellectual and technical capabilities to come into the organisation. It is imperative for future graduates to be more knowledgeable in areas beyond just clothing and textiles in order to succeed in the industry. I am confident we will be able to impart that knowledge to the university students, while benefiting from the research and development carried out by them”, stated Shakthi Ranatunga, Group HR Director MAS Holdings.
Speaking at the occasion the Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, Prof. Upul B Dissanayake, applauded the fact that the partnership was focused on collaborative research, stating “It is crucial for industries to conduct on-going research in an effective and organised manner in order to generate new products and processes necessary to be competitive in the modern world. Collaboration with the experts in the University will undoubtedly be mutually beneficial, with the ultimate beneficiary being the industry and the country as a whole.”
Since its inception, MAS has been investing in capacity building among state and non-state university students in various disciplines relevant to the apparel industry. It has helped in producing balanced graduates, improving the talent in the industry and supporting the efforts of creating a pool of potential employees. Currently several programmes are conducted under this umbrella, including the Skills for Work programme, MAS Award for Best Overall Student, Ready to Unleash and the MAS Holdings and Dialog Summer Internship Programme.