Editor’s Note: This is the fifth and final installment of a five-day look into one of WRAP’s most exciting training courses, taught by our Vice President of Training and Education Stuart Webster to third-year honors students in the Fashion Management degree program at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI). AMFI students learned the ins-and-outs of factory certification, social compliance practices and challenges, and the role of audits and WRAP certification in the apparel and fashion industry.
It was a busy, full week for the ten honors students enrolled in Webster’s five-day auditing course. Dressed fashionably, students from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and New Zealand arrived to class each morning eager and ready to learn about the other side of the fashion industry—apparel production.
Armed with toys—for rewards and stress relief—and his hilarious sense of humor, Webster was there to greet them and educate on the importance of social compliance and factory audits to ensure apparel factories operate under humane, ethical, and lawful conditions.
On the first day, students learned about the history of social compliance, including factory disasters and labor abuse scandals. The second day focused on the principles of child, forced and trafficked labor—and how to spot such conditions when auditing a factory. Students also learned about auditing teams and management systems.
Day three focused on health, safety and environment in factories and how to spot risks in factories. Students engaged in six interactive exercises—from spotting dangers in factories to mapping out safety conditions in cafeterias and drafting fire safety plans.
On the fourth day, students journeyed to the mythical land of GooBaba, to conduct an audit on a local shoe factory. Conducting role-plays and interviews, students held factory opening and closing meetings, interviewed workers and audited the factory in full.
On the last day, students took the final exam, a comprehensive test on social compliance, WRAP Principles, the auditing process and labor compliance. Following the two-and-a-half-hour exam, students left the course attuned to the importance of social compliance and eager to move forward to careers in apparel sourcing.
“I’m over the moon with the enthusiasm presented by the students. Their challenging questions, overall interest and, most importantly, their concern for the well-being of workers in factories, fields, and production and processing industries across the world,” said Webster after the course completed.
All the students passed the five-day IRCA-accredited auditor course.
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