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Textiles, Clothing and Footwear

Overview

This page provides high-level information on the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear sector.

The Textile, Clothing and Footwear sector has three main sub-sectors:

  • Production of clothing, textiles, footwear, leather goods and specialised technical textiles
  • Provision of services including dry cleaning and laundry operations, fashion design, and clothing and footwear repairs
  • Processing of natural (wool, cotton and leather) and synthetic materials such as PVC and shade cloth.

There were just over 25,200 businesses operating in the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear sector at the end of June 2016, with nearly 85% located in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. The sector is largely made up of small businesses with nearly 60% non-employing and a further 39% employing less than 20 people.

Nationally recognised training for the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear industry is delivered under the MST   Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Training Package and the LMT07 – Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Training Package.

For information on other areas of manufacturing please visit the Manufacturing cluster page, the Automotive cluster page, and the Food and Pharmaceutical cluster page.

Information sourced from the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

 

IRC and skills forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment in the Textiles, Leather, Clothing and Footwear manufacturing sector has been trending downwards over time. Indeed, employment numbers have dropped from 92,600 in 2000 to 36,700 in 2017. By 2022 employment is expected to be about 30,000.

Within these industry sectors the two largest occupational groups are Sewing Machinists and Clothing Trades workers. For both occupations there is expected to be a considerable decrease in employment numbers by 2022, particularly for Sewing Machinists. 

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments and program completions have declined between 2014 and 2017, with around 6,600 enrolments in 2017. During 2017, a large proportion of enrolments were at the certificate II & III levels (a combined 58%), although there was also a reasonable amount of training activity at the diploma and above level (24%). The large majority of the qualifications were in the area of fashion (and textile) design (71%).

The most common intended occupations for the training were Sewing Machinist (around 1,800 enrolments), followed by Clothing Patternmaker (around 1,200 enrolments), then Clothing Trades Workers (around 1,000 enrolments). However, there were also enrolments in courses intended to lead to many other occupations including Fashion Designer, and Laundry Worker (General).

For enrolments during 2017, 64% of courses were delivered by TAFE institutes, with a further 23% delivered by private training providers. When considering all providers, just over two thirds of subjects were government funded (68%), with a further quarter being funded via domestic-fee-for-service arrangements (25%). However, a higher proportion of subjects delivered by TAFE institutes were government funded (69%) than for private training providers (56%).

The largest proportion of enrolments was by students from Victoria (38%), followed by Western Australia (17%).

There were 86 apprenticeship commencements during 2017, and 69 completions. Both commencements and completions have declined significantly since 2012 and the numbers recorded in 2017 were the lowest yearly totals over the period 2010–17. The most common intended occupation for the apprenticeships was Laundry Worker (General). During 2017, the large majority of apprentice training was reported from New South Wales (34%), Western Australia (32%) and Queensland (25%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

The Textiles, Clothing and Footwear IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast, identifies the following skill development priorities over the next three years:

  • Skills to address hygiene and infection control in laundry and dry cleaning
  • Clothing and textile production skills
  • Skills impact of new technologies and materials
  • Production skills for fashion designers
  • STEM skills.

In addition, the following are five most important generic skills are identified as:

  • Technology
  • Design mindset / Thinking critically / Systems thinking / Solving problems skills
  • Communication / Collaboration including virtual collaboration / Social intelligence skills
  • Learning agility / Information literacy / Intellectual autonomy and self-management skills
  • Customer service / Marketing skills.

The industry is being impacted by technology and other factors, consequently the skill needs for the sector are changing. These are outlined in the IRC skills forecast.

One of these is additive manufacturing or 3D printing. This has implications for digital literacy skills and coding as well as knowledge of polymer powders (used in 3D printing). Relevant to this, IBSA Manufacturing is leading the Digital Skills Cross Sector project. The cross-sector project, will obtain evidence and also show cross-industry support for developing training package components, to address workforce needs regarding digital skills. In particular, it will focus on:

  • digital literacy skills
  • additive manufacturing or 3D printing skills
  • programming/coding skills.

Another factor is the development of ‘smart’ clothing that uses new technologies. For example, the CSIRO has developed textiles to enhance the performance of clothing. One example of this is high performance clothing for elite athletes. It uses a product they developed known as Sportswool which is a bi-layer knit fabric.

Other factors affecting the industry that have implications for skill needs include:

  • the use of laser cutting requiring skills in Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)
  • ethical sourcing of materials and treatment of workers requiring skills in managing global supply chains
  • ‘green credentials’ and the management of waste and resources
  • social media which is an avenue for marketing and promotion.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 2 digit, 13 Textiles, Leather, Clothing and Footwear Manufacturing, employment projections to May 2022.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), sex, state and territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 – EQ06, viewed September 2017, <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202017?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total by ANZISC 2 digit 13 Textiles, Leather, Clothing and Footwear Manufacturing, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 2 digit 13 Textiles, Leather, Clothing and Footwear Manufacturing, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET students and courses from the following training package or qualifications:

MST – Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Training Package and LMT07 Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Training Package.

  • Clothing Production
    • LMT20607 - Certificate II in Clothing Production (Intermediate)
    • LMT20707 - Certificate II in Clothing Production (Complex or Multiple Processes)
    • LMT30507 - Certificate III in Clothing Production
    • LMT40307 - Certificate IV in Clothing Production
    • MST30116 - Certificate III in Clothing and Textile Production
    • MST40216 - Certificate IV in Clothing Production
  • Fashion Design
    • LMT21706 - Certificate II in Applied Fashion Design and Technology
    • LMT21707 - Certificate II in Applied Fashion Design and Technology
    • LMT31407 - Certificate III in Applied Fashion Design and Technology
    • LMT32011 - Certificate III in Digitising and Computerised Embroidery
    • LMT41007 - Certificate IV in Applied Fashion Design and Technology
    • LMT41107 - Certificate IV in Textile Design and Development
    • LMT50307 - Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology
    • LMT50507 - Diploma of Textile Design and Development
    • LMT60307 - Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology
    • LMT60407 - Advanced Diploma of Textile Design and Development
    • MST20616 - Certificate II in Applied Fashion Design and Technology
    • MST30816 - Certificate III in Applied Fashion Design and Technology
    • MST40516 - Certificate IV in Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising
    • MST50116 - Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising
    • MST50216 - Diploma of Textile Design and Development
    • MST60116 - Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising
    • MST60216 - Advanced Diploma of Textile Design and Development
    • LMT41207 - Certificate IV in Fashion and Textiles Merchandising
    • LMT50607 - Diploma of Fashion and Textiles Merchandising
    • LMT60507 - Advanced Diploma of Fashion and Textiles Merchandising
  • Laundry and Dry Cleaning
    • LMT21410 - Certificate II in Laundry Operations
    • LMT21510 - Certificate II in Dry Cleaning Operations
    • LMT31107 - Certificate III in Laundry Operations
    • LMT31110 - Certificate III in Laundry Operations
    • LMT31210 - Certificate III in Dry Cleaning Operations
    • LMT40810 - Certificate IV in Laundry Operations and Supervision
    • MST20416 - Certificate II in Laundry Operations
    • MST30616 - Certificate III in Laundry Operations
    • MST30716 - Certificate III in Dry Cleaning Operations
  • Other Textile
    • MST20116 - Certificate II in TCF Production Support
    • MST20216 - Certificate II in TCF Production Operations
    • MST20316 - Certificate II in Leather Production
    • MST20516 - Certificate II in TCF Services and Repair
    • MST30316 - Certificate III in Millinery
    • MST30416 - Certificate III in Footwear
    • MST30516 - Certificate III in Leather Production
    • MST40116 - Certificate IV in Textile Design, Development and Production
    • MST40316 - Certificate IV in Custom-Made Footwear
    • MST40416 - Certificate IV in Millinery
  • Other Textile, Clothing and Footwear
    • LMT11107 - Certificate I in Textiles Clothing and Footwear
    • LMT20107 - Certificate II in Textile Production (Intermediate)
    • LMT20507 - Certificate II in Textile Fabrication
    • LMT20807 - Certificate II in Millinery
    • LMT21207 - Certificate II in Leather Production
    • LMT30107 - Certificate III in Textile Production
    • LMT30307 - Certificate III in Cotton Ginning
    • LMT30407 - Certificate III in Textile Fabrication
    • LMT30607 - Certificate III in Millinery
    • LMT30707 - Certificate III in Footwear Production
    • LMT30807 - Certificate III in Footwear Repair
    • LMT30907 - Certificate III in Leather Production
    • LMT31909 - Certificate III in Engineering - TCF Mechanic
    • LMT40107 - Certificate IV in Textile Technology and Production
    • LMT40407 - Certificate IV in Custom-made Footwear
    • LMT40707 - Certificate IV in Millinery
    • MST30216 - Certificate III in Manufactured Textile Products.

This includes suprseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

MST and LMT07 Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2017 commencements
  • 2010 to 2017 completions 
  • 2017 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2017 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority and generic skills data have been extracted from the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Updated: 06 Dec 2018
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