The event, arranged by the Coventry Clothing Partnership and hosted by the Coventry
Clothing Centre, was designed to encourage firms to raise wage levels in a sector where,
traditionally, remuneration has been low.
Held at the Coventry Clothing Centre's Foleshill base, the conference was part of a
programme of support for clothing manufacturers funded by the European Social Fund through
the ADAPT Community initiative led by Coventry University.
Guest speaker John Hallett of Coventry law firm, Band Hatton, provided an overview of
the legislative framework, and the discussion was chaired by David Godfrey.
According to Mr Godfrey, the introduction of the minimum wage creates a new challenge
for clothing manufacturers already facing increased global competition.
"The aim of the conference was to present the longer term benefits of rewarding
staff properly for their efforts, thus creating a more motivated workforce," he said.
"By actively supporting and exposing them to the manufacturers, we want to see the
development of this vibrant sector which can offer a range of job opportunities, not only
for young people but also for returners to the work place."
Saudagar Nagra, chairman of the CADCMA, said that he was encouraged by the interest
shown by manufacturers in the event.
"Our aim is to create awareness of best practice and expose firms to new and
better ways of doing business. We are seeing a positive trend and the fact this conference
attracted so much interest is evidence of our growing success," he added.