Textile operatives work in the production areas of textile factories, doing a number of different jobs, including cleaning and operating machinery. They oversee machines during the manufacturing processes to make sure they are running smoothly, and check the supply of material into and out of machines. They make minor adjustments to machinery and call on technicians to deal with machinery faults and breakdowns. See Textile Technician profile.
They work in four main production areas of textile factories:
Hours of work vary between 37 hours and 40 hours a week and may include shift work or overtime. Most modern textile factories are light and airy. Some processes do make the atmosphere hot, humid and noisy.
Textile operators spend most of their time standing or moving around the production area. Protective clothing is worn where necessary.
To be a textile operative you should:
Four fifths of textile, apparel and footwear manufacturers employ 10 people or less, so opportunities for progression may be limited by restrictions on company training budgets. In larger organisations, operatives may be able to train up to level 3 and gain technician status. Other options include sales and marketing, design or supply chain management.
There is a trend for production processes to be shifted overseas, with more technical roles remaining in the UK. With this in mind, operatives who can develop their skills into related areas, such as those mentioned above, are likely to enjoy the best prospects.
There is scope for self-employment within the industry, for instance, production of specialist/luxury items or footwear and leather goods repair.
If you would like to know anything about Textile Operative that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.