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Textile Manufacturing Operative

A Textile Manufacturing Operative is involved in the process of manufacturing textiles; they produce materials which go into everyday or industrial textile products using specialist machines, techniques and processes. They need to be practical and logical and have good team working skills.

What would you do?

Textile Manufacturing Operatives produce natural and synthetic materials or technical textile, which are used in a variety of industries, such as the aerospace, automotive and construction sectors. They operate specific textile manufacturing machinery, they may be allocated to one process such as carding, spinning, twisting, warping, dying or finishing or be involved in mixture of different processes depending on the operation and size of the business. The machinery to complete these processes is often computerised to enable more than one process to be completed at a time.

Day to day tasks include:

  • Setting up and feeding specialist textile production machinery
  • Selecting and checking materials
  • Monitoring the production process and recording defects
  • Reading and following work specifications and documentation

Where would you work?

Medium or small textile manufacturing businesses typically employ textile manufacturing operatives. The job is usually based in the production area of a factory or workshop. The textile manufacturing environment is typically well light and well ventilated, but can get very noisy and ear protection is required.

What would you be paid?

For a typical working week of approx. 39 hours

  • Textile Manufacturing Operative starting salary on average is £12,000-£14,000 per year
  • An experienced Textile Manufacturing Operative salary on average is £18,700-£25,000 per year

  • Pay rates vary depending on age, experience, location and the size of the company. Additional benefits may include, pension and health care. Many companies offer overtime, bonuses in order to meet deadlines.

    Textile Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeships: Employers, by law must pay the government’s apprenticeship minimum wage rate. Research show that many textile employers supplement this rate of pay. https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

    Will you need qualifications or training?

    Experienced is preferred, however employers are keen to train new textile manufacturing operatives and qualifications are not required. Training is delivered on-the-job; either on the production floor or in a training section. Employers may also register new trainees onto the Level 2 Textile Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeship


    Qualifications relating to the Textile Manufacturing Operative are available via ABC Awards, City & Guilds, Pearson and SQA


    What are the career prospects?

    With experience and training, a Textile Manufacturing Operative could progress into machine maintenance, quality control or a textile technician position. Or move into technical management, textile technology, supervisory or staff training.

    How secure is the future of this career?

    The UK’s world-class textile manufacture base is growing, thriving and continually investing. Sector employment continues to grow steadily from 97,000 in 2011 to 108,000 in 2016, with an added 19,500 self employed and research estimates the creation of 20,000 new jobs by 2020.
    The number of UK textile & apparel manufacturing businesses has increased annually from 7190 in 2013 to 8075 in 2017 with forecast of further growth.
    Textile goods exported across the globe continues to grow with export increases recorded at £250M in March 2016 to £273M in March 2017.
    UK Fashion & textile manufacture covers traditional craft to technical textile and has a production value of £9.1 BN, add the wide fashion sector this increases to £28.1 BN sector – 4.7% of the total UK economy.

    Where can you find job vacancies?

    Vacancies are advertised across the UK with concentration in the Northwest, Yorkshire and the Midlands. Check out the latest vacancies on the sites below:

    Total Jobs
    Drapers Jobs

    Textile Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeship vacancies:

    Some apprenticeship vacancies are ‘open to application’. With details on how to apply within the job vacancy details, these can be found on the job sites listed above. Apprenticeship vacancies can also be found via the Find an Apprenticeship’ Service. For further information, advise and tips on how to apply for an apprenticeship vacancy see the UCAS site apprenticeships–in-the-uk.

    www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales)
    www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk (England)

    The websites above are external and the number of job vacancies may vary. Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!


    See websites associated to the Textile Manufacturing Operative job role below:

    The Textile Institute
    The Lancashire Textile Association
    The Textile Society