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Position based in Accra, Ghana (West Africa)

Program and organization descriptions

The GIZ public-private-partnership program (develoPPP) was established by the German government (BMZ) as a way to support and foster the involvement of the private sector in developing countries and emerging economies. GIZ is currently launching a public-private partnership program with EAA and Gerber in West Africa, with a focus on Ghana. The primary objective of the program is to strengthen small and medium-sized clothing manufacturers for the export market in order to create qualified and socially responsible employment.


Part of this program includes launching a Pattern Centre of Excellence to develop local expertise in digital pattern creation and product development through training both existing factory pattern makers and new students. The Centre will run in partnership with Gerber, the global pattern technology supplier.


The Pattern Centre of Excellence will be managed on the ground by Ethical Apparel Africa Association (EAA Association), a non-profit organization incorporated in France. The Association’s mission is to develop and implement vocational training programs building the capacity of ethical garment factories in Africa, with the end goal of creating sustainable employment.  We are currently recruiting specifically for technical experts to devise, deliver and manage training initiatives and services to factories as part of this Centre of Excellence.


The program will launch in fall 2018 in Ghana and will be operational for three years. The Centre will be housed and certified through a local Technical / Vocational training institution - Accra Technical Training Centre (ATTC). Following the three year term of the project ATTC will take over the operations of the Centre to ensure sustainability of knowledge transfer.   


Other initiatives under the same develoPPP program include a Middle Management Training Center based at ATTC, as well as in-factory Technical Vocational Training to ensure practical learning in industrial settings. These efforts will create a pipeline of qualified technical talent that will address a key barrier to competitiveness and accelerate industry growth and job creation in apparel factories in West Africa.  In addition to GIZ project partners engaged in this program include: Ethical Apparel Africa, DTRT, and Groz Beckert, among others.


Position overview


We have a great opportunity for an experienced pattern master and trainer with passion and desire to build local capacity in West Africa to join us as a Digital Pattern Trainer. The role will be a combination of training and delivering pattern services to the factory community in Ghana.

The Digital Pattern Trainer will be based in Accra, Ghana, working at the Pattern Center of Excellence. This role will report to the Head Trainer at the EAA Association (also based in Accra) and will work in direct relationship with GIZ, ATTC, Ethical Apparel Africa Ltd. and the local factory teams.  The responsibilities will include:

Develop the Course Curriculum

  • Develop an assessment tool to measure trainees’ entry skill levels (the Center will serve different levels of existing experience, from new students to experienced manual pattern makers)

  • Create culturally adapted course curriculum using a practical and participatory approach covering the following technical areas:

    • Manual patterns using pattern creation theory

    • Digital patterns and printing using the Gerber software

    • Pattern grading and printing using the Gerber software

    • Lay planning and plotter printing using the Gerber software

    • Design and develop all elements of course implementation:

      • Timelines and assessment points for courses

      • Ideal number of students per class

      • Balance of focus on theoretical learning versus practical application and incorporation of students into practical exercises to test skills

      • Performance assessment tools, pass rates, and process to follow where standards are not met

      • Certification levels, including working with local educational bodies to formalize training certificates where possible

  • Lead pilots of the training curriculums in order to assess effectiveness and incorporate feedback, particularly for cultural adaptation elements

  • Share all learnings around curriculum development including final materials with ATTC and with GIZ

  • Final curriculum sign off with the Senior Program Manager / EAA Association, ATTC, and GIZ


Implement Trainings

  • Conduct trainee assessments to determine fit into different course levels and in case of oversubscription determine which trainees will get course places

  • Deliver the devised curriculum on time and to standards agreed

  • Actively train and mentor the ATTC lecturing team to ensure that they will be able to take on the curriculum at the end of the 3 year training program (plan for a gradual handover of curriculum implementation responsibility)


Structure and Implement Pattern Services

Work to develop and implement a logical, fair and resource effective structure for providing pattern-making services to factories in West Africa, including:

  • Base pattern creation

    • Create 2D base patterns from tech packs, samples and/or sketches and digitize into the Gerber system -- considering type and width of fabric, prints (if appropriate) and garment end use (for example any safety regulations)

    • Print base patterns and measurement charts to then create toiles to check pattern work in 3D

    • Ensure all style details and seam types are included with the pattern

    • Complete an estimate fabric consumption for sample size pattern

    • Adapt existing patterns to client’s feedback and create new digitized pattern

  • Pattern Grading

    • Digitally grade patterns to specified measurement charts and size ratios

  • Lay planning

    • Take approved graded pattern and together with size ratio and fabric information create an electronic lay plan for the factories to cut from

    • Send lay plan to the factory electronically or print out lay-plan as required

Qualifications & Attributes

  • Recognized certificate in pattern creation and grading

  • 5 year industrial experience as garment pattern maker

  • At least 3 years experience in an educational and training environment including administrative skills to develop and deliver courses.

  • In-depth knowledge of pattern making (manual and digital); preference for knowledge and experience working in Gerber specifically

  • Proven experience developing curriculum and conducting training and passion for developing capacity

  • Excellent leadership and training skills; ability to coach teams and develop individuals

  • Exceptional cross cultural communication and presentation skills

  • Deep understanding of customer markets and experience of working with Western brands from the USA and/or Europe

  • Previous working/living experience in a developing country, preferably in Africa

  • Fluency in English

  • Evidence of the following characteristics: humble, inspiring, self aware, resilient, adaptable, proactive, persistent, resourceful, able to work under pressure and respect deadlines, strong at building relationships and resolving problems, poised, active listener, fun to work with, and full of integrity



  • Salary level dependent on candidate experience and profile

  • Health and repatriation insurance

  • 30 days of annual leave in addition to national holidays in Ghana

  • Accommodation

  • Annual round trip flight

  • Opportunity to contribute to the development of an innovative center developing a pipeline of talent in the next frontier of apparel manufacturing


How to apply

  • As applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, kindly send a resume ​and a separate and specific cover letter for this position ​to, using the reference “GIZ PATTERN EXPERT”​ as the subject of your email.

  • Only complete applications with accurate references will be considered and only the most qualified candidates will be shortlisted for interview.

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