DATA INFORMATION TECHNICAL TEXTILES NONWOVENS i

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					DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS i
        The Australian Technical Textiles & Nonwovens
        Industry Profile


        May 2006




        A higher skill set is required to meet the challenge of producing
        higher value-added products more efficiently, and at a higher
        quality. The objective of industry is to increase the value-added
        potential of the workforce in order to help reduce manufacturing
        costs, thereby fortifying a competitive advantage.
        MSA - Data & Information Project: Technical and Nonwoven
        Textiles, May 2006




       Prepared by: The Technical Textiles & Nonwoven Association, n
       behalf of Manufacturing Skills Australia




DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - ii
The Australian Technical Textiles & Nonwovens Industry Profile
Contents


Summary ...................................................................................................................................iv
Project Purpose ........................................................................................................................vi
Glossary of terms ....................................................................................................................vii
Methodology............................................................................................................................viii
1.         The Technical Textiles and Nonwovens Industry...........................................................1
     1.1     Description .....................................................................................................1
     1.2     Value of the industry........................................................................................3
     1.3     Employment ...................................................................................................3
     1.4     Trade – exports & imports ................................................................................4
     1.5     Location .........................................................................................................5
     1.6     The business environment ................................................................................6
     1.7     The future ......................................................................................................7
2          Workforce development ...................................................................................................9
     2.1     Industry skills .................................................................................................9
     2.2     Skill requirements connected to machinery ....................................................... 10
     2.3     Skill requirements connected to legislation and licenses ..................................... 10
     2.4     Labour & skills shortages ................................................................................ 10
     2.5     Training needs .............................................................................................. 11
     2.6     Engagement with Vocational Education & Training ............................................. 13
     2.7     The new technical textiles & nonwovens qualification framework ......................... 16
Appendix 1: Training Providers registered to deliver textile production qualifications .....18
Appendix 2: Background to the Technical & Nonwoven Textile industry sector ................19
Appendix 3: Background to the Australian vocational education & training system .........24
Appendix 4: Manufacturing Skills Australia...........................................................................27
Appendix 5: The role TTNA plays with training .....................................................................28




                                DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - iii
Summary
This industry profile describes the Technical Textiles and Nonwoven manufacturing industry
in Australia. It is based on research of publicly available data and on an industry survey
conducted by the Technical Textiles Association on behalf of Manufacturing Skills Australia.
The following data provides an industry snapshot of its size, shape and value to the
Australian economy.

      Manufacturing firms in Australia:                  79 firms
      Total value of the industry:                       A$2.2 billion
      Value of domestic production:                      A$1.5 billion.
      Imports 2004/2005:                                 A$954 million
      Exports 2004/2005:                                 A$202 million
      Employment:                                        6,800 people (approximately)
      Av. turnover per employee 2004/2005:               A$300,000 (approximately)

The technical textiles and nonwoven industry is widely regarded as the most thriving and
fastest changing sector of the global textile industry.

Industry confidence is running high, with two thirds of the survey responses reporting
growth in turnover in the last 5 years and 70% optimistic that turnover will either “stay the
same” or “increase.” Sixty six percent of firms surveyed expected that their exports will
increase in the next financial year, reflecting the industry’s bullish view on opportunities for
industrial products in China and other developing countries. Connecting slow growth in
import penetration with two thirds of the survey responses reporting growth in turnover
over the last 5 years indicates that the market for technical and nonwoven textiles is
growing through domestic supply.

The results of the survey illustrate that the industry is not marking time. Indeed, the survey
revealed a positive perception of the future, with the majority of companies electing to
continue manufacturing in Australia and investing in new capital equipment and research
and development. Few companies plan to contract by rationalising, reducing staff or
shifting offshore. Most plan to control their supply chains better and to expand export sales.
These vital indicators illustrate that manufacturers are also creating new capabilities and
products to apply both to their Australian manufacturing and as part of their global
engagement.

While sixty percent of companies surveyed stated they weren’t experiencing a labour
shortage, fifty five percent reported that they were experiencing a skills shortage. Added to
this are the strong views expressed through the survey that a higher skill set is required to
meet the challenge of producing higher value-added products more efficiently, and at a
higher quality. To meet this challenge industry aims to increase the value-added potential of

                      DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - iv
the workforce to reduce manufacturing costs, thereby fortifying its competitive advantage.
This demand for a higher skilled workforce has significant implications on how the industry
views and uses the vocational education and training system.

Of the companies operating in the technical and nonwoven textile supply chain that we
identified in this research, the bulk of the manufacturing operations are located in the states
of Victoria and New South Wales with the majority in Victoria. A feature of this technical
textiles and nonwovens industry profile is the number of large companies (50-100+
employees) that are based in key regional areas of Australia. In terms of training, the
regional base emphasises the importance of forming training partnerships with local and
national training providers.

All companies surveyed expressed the need for a collection of skills including employability
skills, core skills, administrative skills and technical skills. The challenge therefore is to
create a training program that offers the industry freedom to select the right mix of skills
and to use flexible delivery programs including workbased training.

The challenge for industry is to assume greater responsibility for workforce development
both at an industry level and within companies. The following initiatives will provide a
framework for this to happen both immediately and into the future.

a.    The development of a whole of industry training strategy.

b.    The development of a skills diagnostic resource that companies can use to conduct
      skills audits in-house, and that can contribute to the development of company
      training plans.

c.    An assessment of the current training support materials and the development of
      support materials aligned to the new TT&N units of competency.

d.    Increase flexible delivery modes (especially workbased training) to meet the future
      needs of interstate, rural and outer metropolitan locations.

e.    Identify ways by which the fee for service system, particularly short courses and
      workshops can be aligned to the national units of competency, in order to gain credits
      towards national qualifications.

f.    Develop and deliver flexible training programs around the immediate needs of
      industry including:
                 o occupational health and safety
                 o quality control and testing
                 o plant operations and process control
                 o team building
                 o lean manufacturing




                     DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - v
Project Purpose
During 2005 Manufacturing Skills Australia proposed that a data and information collection
project be established in the Technical Textiles and Nonwoven industry to prepare a TT&N
industry skills profile which:

 •    quantified the scope of the industry in terms of businesses, employees and
      geographical location;

 •    quantified the training activity in the industry in terms of formal training, incidental
      training, government funding, fee-for-service training, machine manufacturer
      training and other training as defined by enterprises;

 •    reported on workforce development with particular reference to the availability of
      labour and to skill shortages and training requirements.

The report on skill development also includes recommendations to implement the recently
developed qualifications for Technical Textiles and Nonwovens within the Textiles Clothing
and Footwear Training Package, in order to help enterprises integrate training with their
business plans.

It was also proposed that this project prepare suitable research tools for data and
information collection and templates for publication resources that can be used in other
manufacturing sectors. These would include:

 •    survey documents for both direct contact and on-line research

 •    an industry profile proforma suitable for both hard copy and on-line communication

 •    a sample training information leaflet to assist enterprises in the implementation of
      training in their businesses.

The findings of this research will contribute to the MSA Skills Report which in turn, will be
the basis for the National Industry Skills Report produced by the Australian Government
through the Department of Education, Science and Training




                      DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - vi
Glossary of terms
Labour shortage: Refers to the size of the labour pool generally, and to the lack of
availability of labour in general.

Skill shortage: Refers to the lack of availability of labour with the right kind of skills.

Workplace training: Training that is delivered at the place of work rather than at an
external training institution.

Workbased training: Training that is based on real work, carried out under supervision
during normal operations.

Training Package: A Training Package is a set of nationally endorsed standards and
qualifications used to recognise and assess the skills and knowledge people need to perform
effectively in the workplace.

The Australian Qualifications Framework: The AQF defines all nationally recognised
qualifications. It provides a single framework for all qualifications from Senior Secondary
Certification to PhD.

Registered Training Organisations: Training organisations registered to deliver
accredited training and assessment.

VET system: The Australian State/Territory Vocational Education and Training systems.

Fabricator/ing: Further processing or manufacturing an existing product to create
another. The product should be transformed from one tariff code to another.

Flexible training models/Flexible delivery: These terms refer to workbased training
programs conducted in companies by workplace trainers and assessors in partnership with
Registered Training Organisations (RTO). Sometimes the company is also the RTO.

Training programs: These are organised learning activities (topics/subjects) based on
units of competency and the manufacturing and service processes in companies.

CSIRO: Commonwealth Scientific Industry Research Organisation

RMIT: RMIT University, TAFE Division

Technical textiles: Refer Appendix 2

Nonwovens: Refer Appendix 2




                      DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - vii
Methodology
This survey was conducted by the Technical Textiles and Nonwoven Association. A survey
form (that can be viewed in appendix 6) developed collaboratively with RMIT and CSIRO
and sent to over 300 firms operating in the technical and nonwovens textile supply chain
across Australia in hard copy during March 2006 and again in soft copy during April 2006.
Additionally many interviews were conducted by phone.

Respondents were guaranteed that individual responses would not be disclosed.
Industry was accommodating and supportive, with many conversations providing valuable
information. Indeed, we thoroughly enjoyed working on the project and are proud of the
positive result.

To ensure integrity of the data, for those firms that manufacture other products in addition
to technical and nonwovens textiles (such as apparel textiles), only the amounts directly
relating to employment and turnover to the relevant sector were recorded.

The supply chain includes suppliers and agents, and education and research and
development (R&D) enterprises that service the technical textiles and nonwoven
manufacturing operations with physical, virtual and intellectual inputs. Textiles produced by
the industry are made up into countless products by fabricators, the number of which covers
a vast range of products. This industry profile concentrates on firms manufacturing textile
products (illustrated by the shaded area in the figure below) rather than those making
products from or fabricating further down the supply chain.

Figure 1: Technical Textiles and Nonwoven Supply Chain

                      Survey form sent to 300 companies across these categories


                                  Textile Manufacturers
         Input                   Data in this report is calculated from           End Users
      Organisations              modelling and averaging information              Fabricators
                                 supplied by the 37 companies from
                                 this category that responded to the
                                                survey.
Source: MSA Survey 2006

Data in this industry profile is calculated from modelling and averaging information supplied
by the companies who responded to the MSA Survey 2006 and from research of publicly
available data and information by TFIA Business Services Pty Ltd.




                      DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - viii
1. The Technical Textiles and Nonwovens Industry
1.1 Description

The global textiles industry (as illustrated in Figure 2 below) produces a wide range of
products and supplies every major manufacturing industry in the world. The Australian
textiles industry has a similar profile with a similar range of manufacturers and end-users of
products. The technical textiles and non wovens industry is regarded as the most thriving
and fastest changing sector of the global and Australian textiles industry.

      Figure 2: The Global/Australian Textile Industry




      Source: CSIRO Textiles & Fibre Technology




                     DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 1
The technical textiles and nonwoven industry often goes unnoticed. Much of the broader
textile industry produces products for aesthetic and decorative purposes (fashion apparel,
clothing, soft furnishings, fashion accessories); whereas the technical and nonwoven textiles
and yarns have more functional purposes. They are frequently used in a range of
“downstream” applications in other manufacturing and service industries and thus, are not
highly visible in the retail market.

In contrast to the popular perception of the broader Australian textile industry – that is, an
industry which is decreasing rapidly and going off shore, the Australian technical textiles
and nonwoven industry is thriving and expanding using high level technology and high value
adding manufacturing procedures.

A non-exhaustive list of the technical textiles and nonwoven products and end-users is set
out in Figure 3. They include textiles and geotextiles for the aerospace, marine, millinery,
safety and transport industries. The industry also shares a number of technologies and has
overlapping interests with other material based industries such as textile reinforced
composites, glass, plastics, films, membranes, materials and paper.

Figure 3: The technical & nonwoven textile supply chain - detail

          INPUTS                           MANUFACTURING                              END USERS
                                             79 companies                   End use industries (fabricators)
                                           Value A$2.2 billion              •     Automotive
                                                                            •     Filtration
                                           Employment 6,800
                                                                            •     Acoustic
Suppliers/agents                                                            •     Technical clothing
                                          Technical Textiles &              •     Geo applications
                                                                            •     Medical
Education Institutions                  Nonwoven Manufacturers
                                                                            •     Hygiene
                                                                            •     Industrial belting
Research & Development                                                      •     Insulation
                                                                            •     Combat protective clothing
organisations (CSIRO, IFC)
                                                                            •     Shade & screening
                                                     Wholesalers            •     Auto head linings & parcel
                                                                                  trays
                                                                            •     Tarpaulins, Shade Sails,
                                                                                  Awnings
                                                                            •     And countless more…..
Source: MSA Survey 2006

This industry profile concentrates on the technical textiles and nonwoven manufacturers. It
does not include the “end users” which use the technical and nonwoven fibres and textiles
to produce other products such as absorbent cloths, swabs, ropes, inflatables, waterproof
clothing, desalination membranes filters, flexible silos, insulation, industrial belting,
tarpaulins etc. Nor does the profile include the “input” companies and organisations such as
suppliers, agents and research and development organisations.




                         DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 2
1.2 Value of the industry

     The project research revealed that the core technical textiles and nonwoven industry
     is a collection of 79 firms actively manufacturing in Australia. The value of the
     Australian manufactured technical and nonwoven textile production is just over $1.5
     billion. With imports running at A$9541 million and exports of A$202 million2, the
     Australian technical textiles and nonwoven industry is valued at around A$2.2 billion.

     Industry confidence is running high, with two thirds of the survey responses reporting
     growth in turnover in the last 5 years and 70% optimistic that turnover will either
     “stay the same” or “increase.”


                                9%
                                                              Increased
                                                              Decreased
                                                              Stayed the Same
                   25%



                                                         66%



                  Figure 4 - Question: How has turnover changed in
                                 the last 5 years ?

    Source: MSA Survey 2006



1.3 Employment

    The Australian technical textile and nonwoven industry employs around 6,800 people.
    Only 30% of those firms surveyed anticipated reductions in staff levels over the next
    year, with 70% expecting employment levels to either “increase” or “stay the same”
    (refer Figure 4).

    The average turnover per employee in 2004-2005 was estimated at around
    A$300,000.


     1
         ABS
     2
         ABS

                   DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 3
                 The average Australian technical and nonwoven textile manufacturing firm contributes
                 anywhere between A$1 million and A$5 million in wages back into the community.
                 There is also a significant amount of firms that pay over A$5 million in wages every
                 year.


1.4 Trade – exports & imports

                 Across the spectrum of technical textiles and nonwoven activities, there are
                 companies that are using competitive advantages to secure offshore markets. The
                 total value of exports of Australian technical textile and nonwovens was in excess of
                 A$200 million in 2004/2005.

                 Exports over the ten preceding years were inconsistent with rises and falls over the
                 period, culminating in an average growth rate of just 0.07%, though, by all accounts,
                 exports have “ramped-up” in the last year, the growth for which should be reflected
                 in the 2005/2006 export statistics. Indeed, 66% of firms surveyed expected that
                 their exports will increase in the next financial year, reflecting the industry’s bullish
                 view on opportunities for industrial products in China and other developing countries.


                          Figure 5: Technical textiles and non-w oven goods - im ports vs exports
                                                         Source: ABS
                  1,200


                  1,000
  $AU Millions




                   800


                   600


                   400


                   200


                     0
                          1995-96   1996- 97   1997- 98   1998-99    1999- 00   2000-01   2001-02   2002- 03   2003-04   2004- 05



                                                                    Exports          Imports

                 Source: TFIA Business Services: adapted from ABS data 2006

                 However, not all firms export. The survey indicated that 34% sell all their output in
                 Australia. Very few of those that do export are selling more than 20% of production
                 to offshore markets, indicating significant room for growth.

                 Given the limited Australian population, a feature of the local operating market is
                 flexibility and a capacity to supply niche markets, characteristics which are a proven

                                     DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 4
    formula for success in developing export markets. Indeed, exports of the Australian
    technical textile and nonwoven industry characterise the diverse range of products
    created by the sector. Automotive, filtration, medical, acoustic and geotextiles
    products are among the principal goods sold overseas.

    Realisation of export opportunities is reported to be challenging, with a significant
    number of firms citing the “cost of developing export markets” as the major
    impediment. Demonstrating capability to customers and developing the linkages
    necessary to sustain viable business takes considerable time and money, which is
    often abandoned in favour of finding new domestic markets to develop where
    historically textile manufacturers have not been before.



    “We haven’t concentrated on developing our export market simply because Australian demand is
    ever increasing. New products take all our efforts and more….we’re too busy servicing our domestic
    market!” A survey respondent




     The total value of technical textile and nonwovens imports into Australia was in
     excess of A$950 million (3) in 2004/2005. Imports over the ten preceding years grew
     steadily to 2002/2003 with a significant drop off in the last two years, culminating in
     an average growth rate of just 2.8%. This reveals that there is considerably less
     import penetration in the technical and nonwoven textile industry than many other
     Australian manufacturing industry sectors, further indicating that the industry is
     sustainable and internationally competitive.

     Connecting slow growth in import penetration with two thirds of the survey
     responses reporting growth in turnover in the last 5 years indicates that the market
     for technical and nonwoven textiles is growing through domestic supply.



1.5 Location
     Of the firms operating in the technical and nonwoven textile supply chain that we
     identified for this survey, the bulk of the manufacturing operations are located in the
     traditional manufacturing states of Victoria and New South Wales with the former
     enjoying the majority of enterprises. Most of these firms are stand alone, producing
     from a single site; however, there are a few that have operations in more than one
     state. Companies located in NSW tend to be larger than those in Victoria.
     Employment is 2,700 and 3,287 respectively.




     3
         ABS

                     DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 5
     Figure 6: Location of Australian technical textile and nonwoven organisations by
     State/Territory
                                               ACT, 0
                                  WA, 1                             NSW, 27




                                                                              NT, 0

         VIC, 47
                                                                            QLD, 5
                                                TAS, 0         SA, 2
    Source: MSA Survey 2006

     The Australian technical and nonwoven textiles industries are located mainly in
     Victoria and NSW, with a considerable number of people employed in regional areas
     including Gosford (NSW), Albury (NSW), Stawell (Vic), Southport (Qld), Wangaratta
     (Vic).

     These regional locations are significant in terms of regional development and
     employment in Australia.

     Collectively these companies alone employ almost 1,000 people. Any growth of the
     technical and nonwoven industry could be a significant catalyst for, and contributor
     to, the betterment of these regional economies.

     It must be acknowledged that operating in a regional area has some unique
     characteristics and needs, in addition to those of the metropolitan operating
     environment. Manufacturing activity in regional areas is particularly vulnerable as
     service inputs are not as accessible. Understandably, workplace training is preferred
     in regional areas. The challenge remains that industry develops on going training
     partnerships with registered training providers (RTOs) on a regional and national
     basis.

1.6 The business environment

     No study on any manufacturing sector would be complete without acknowledging
     China as a major force. The transformation underway in the Chinese economy, while
     providing Australian manufacturers with opportunities, has also presented
     challenges. Over the past ten years the growth in imports from China has increased
     by an average rate of 10% reaching A$250 million in 2004/05. Reportedly, these
     products are commodity textiles with little added value or functional properties.



                   DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 6
                  Some firms are aggressively responding to the opportunities and confronting the
                  challenges presented. This can be seen by the strong growth in export penetration
                  by Australian firms into the Chinese market. Over the past ten years, on average,
                  Australia has enjoyed significant market penetration with exports of technical and
                  nonwoven textiles to China growing by around 21% (refer figure 7), although it
                  should be noted that this is from a modest base. And, by all accounts, exports to
                  China have “ramped-up” in the last year, the growth for which will be reflected in the
                  2005/2006 export statistics. It has also been reported that, while figure 7 illustrates
                  positive growth in exports of textile products, there is significantly more growth in
                  value-added or products that have been fabricated from Australian technical and
                  nonwoven textiles.

                          Figure 7: The value of technical textile & nonwoven exports to China
                 30                                   Source: ABS

                 25

                 20
  $AU Millions




                 15

                 10

                 5

                 0
                       1995-96   1996-97   1997-98   1998-99   1999-00   2000-01   2001-02   2002-03   2003-04   2004-05



                      “The Chinese are busy making apparel textiles to clothe 3 billion people.
                      However there is a significant need for technical textiles. Whilst still fledgling, the
                      Chinese automotive industry is worth US$5 billion. They need countless industrial
                      products to feed the boom” – commented a Victorian fabricator.


                  During 2005, the China Nonwoven & Industrial Textile Association visited Australia to
                  foster closer relationships with the Australian industry. This visit elicited both positive
                  and negative responses from industry, with some seeing it as a major marketing
                  opportunity while others were fearful of Chinese competition.

1.7 The future

                  In order to appreciate future needs of the industry, the survey invited firms to look
                  forward and anticipate decisions and actions their firms will make. (See Figure 8).
                  The results illustrate that the industry is not marking time. Indeed, the survey
                  revealed a positive perception of the future, with the majority of firms electing to


                                    DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 7
continue manufacturing in Australia and investing in new capital equipment and
research and development.

Few firms plan to contract by rationalising, reducing staff or shifting offshore. Most
plan to control their supply chains better and to expand export sales. These vital
indicators illustrate that manufacturers are also creating new capabilities and
products to apply both to Australian manufacturing and as part of their global
engagement.



Figure 8 Question: “Looking forward you anticipate your firm will?” (Respondents
         chose their top three of each return survey)


     Introduce new capital equipment

         Invest in R&D and innovation

               Rationalise Operations

             Merge w ith another firm

                start/expand exports

                        Reduce staff

             Improve labour flexibility

              Produce more offshore

                Import more products

          Better supply chain control

     Continue to produce in Australia

     Shift MORE production off shore

       Shift ALL production off shore

  Adopt lean Manufacturing principles


Source: MSA Survey 2006

The strategies reveal an industry that is confident in the future. The findings also
confirm that industry is meeting the competitive challenges by producing higher
value-added products more efficiently, and at a higher quality.




                DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 8
2 Workforce development
2.1 Industry skills

    The technical textiles and nonwoven industries draws on a wide range of skills
    including manufacturing, logistics, sales, marketing, trade, technical, design, and
    general management skills. The required skill set has changed as the sector has
    moved toward higher value products, the boundaries between jobs have blurred, and
    new technologies have been introduced. Product development and innovation, sales,
    marketing, information technology and e-commerce skills have become more
    important, while demand for traditional trade skills has declined.

    At the senior level, titles such as         A country’s skill base is a critical national
    Textile    Technologist,       Industrial   asset, contributing to economic achievement,
    Engineer, Technical Officer, Technical      standards of living and, through its impact on
    Sales Manager, Product & Process            individual well being, social cohesion. World
    Development Manager, and Materials          class skills for world class industries –
    Technologist can be found in the            Australian Industry Group, The Allen
    technical textiles and nonwoven             Consulting Group, May 2006
    companies. Yet, technological change
    and the increasing complexity of
    production processes are also strong drivers of the need for a much higher level of
    technical skills, particularly at the operator level.

    Skill requirements are perpetually changing, with some traditional jobs disappearing.
    For example, since its beginning, the textile industry annually trained and employed a
    significant number of textile mechanics. This is no longer the case, as the research did
    not find a single example of a textile mechanic apprentice in technical and nonwoven
    textiles today. The situation may be a reflection of high levels of automation in
    contemporary machinery such as computer controls, and/or that maintenance may be
    outsourced these days. A possible initiative is the development of a skills diagnostic
    resource that companies can use to conduct skills audits in-house, and that can
    contribute to the development of company training plans.

    A feature worth noting is the influence of migrants who may have brought with them
    textile skills and qualifications obtained in their country of birth, including the UK,
    Europe, India, South Africa, China and countries in South East Asia. This is particularly
    evident at the more senior positions. Nonetheless, whether the given skills and
    competencies were obtained in Australia and/or overseas, in surveying the technical
    textiles and nonwoven industry the need for a much higher level of technical skills is
    evident.



                    DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 9
2.2 Skill requirements connected to machinery

    As mentioned previously, all textile firms have need of “technical or textile trade skills”
    that are specific to the machinery each firm employs for production. The different
    production streams are dictated by the type of machinery in which the firm has chosen
    to invest, and are illustrated in Figure 9. For example – there is no point in training a
    weaving technician on a knitting machine! And, as education and training
    organisations would be hard pressed to invest in all the given production streams,
    common sense dictates that training should be undertaken in the workplace on the
    operating machinery.

    Evidence of this viewpoint was confirmed by the survey with 70% indicating that the
    most appropriate style of training was in-house or short-course/workshop.
    Partnerships between industry and training organisations are easily facilitated by a
    responsive and flexible educational and training system that invests in ongoing
    dialogue with industry. Greater flexibility should also be provided in the application of
    public funding to allow training providers to become more actively engaged in
    enterprise and industry level workforce development strategies as a means of raising
    skills levels.



2.3 Skill requirements connected to legislation and licenses

    Training is also increasingly driven by the regulatory environment within which
    companies work and the operating licenses employees must have for certain tasks and
    professions. By way of example, Forklift Drivers must have a current license. Often a
    strategic activity by firms to reduce liability, this form of training is incidental and
    seldom linked to accreditation under the VET system. Examples include first aid, CPR
    up-dates, Confined spaces (forklift), Workchoice, LP Gas safety, hydrogen peroxide,
    materials handling, no go zone spotters (blind spotting for forklift).



2.4 Labour & skills shortages

    Interestingly, while 60% of firms surveyed stated they weren’t experiencing a labour
    shortage, 55% reported that they were experiencing a skills shortage. Added to this
    are the strong views expressed during the many telephone interviews which were that
    a higher skill set is required to meet the challenge of producing higher value-added
    products more efficiently, and at a higher quality.

    Put simply, the technical and nonwovens textiles industry aims to increase the value-
    added potential in the workforce which in turn will reduce manufacturing costs,



                   DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 10
    thereby fortifying a competitive advantage. This demand for a higher skilled workforce
    has significant implications on the vocational education and training system.

    To achieve this objective, industry is seeking to provide its workforce with the “right”
    mix of skills that create an efficient “balance” in their manufacturing firms – which in
    turn directly influences profitability.

      The challenge is to create usable training programs that offer the industry
      flexibility to select the right mix of skills – A survey respondent

    While 55% of those surveyed reported that they were experiencing a skills shortage,
    at least one third have clear intentions of upskilling their employees in the near future.
    However, while most reported an awareness of the VET qualifications, almost half the
    industry isn’t aware of training through traineeships. This low level of knowledge
    and/or lack of confidence in the system was confirmed, as even those firms that are
    aware of the traineeships weren’t sure whether or not they provide the skills they
    want or need.




2.5 Training needs

    The survey invited enterprises to indicate their training needs. The results shown in
    Figure 9 illustrate that the highest demand for training is in the areas of occupational
    health and safety, quality control and testing, and plant operations & process control.
    There is also considerable demand for skills in team building, production planning and
    lean manufacturing.




                   DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 11
      Figure 9: Company Training Needs

                                                0   2   4      6       8      10   12   14   16

                        Textile Mathematics

                         Team building skills

                        Lean manufacturing

             Occupational health and safety

               Environmental manufacturing

                        Production planning

                                Fibre basics

                               QC & testing

                        Nonw ovens basics

                         Nonw oven carding

                      Nonw oven spunbond

                               Needlepunch

                        Hydroentanglement

                                 Melt-blow n

                            Textile finishing

                        Air-laid nonw ovens

                        Coating & lamination

          Plant operations & process control


Source:   MSA Survey 2006

      The balance of the training needs refer to specific production systems and machine
      operations. Surprisingly, enterprises reported that on average 14% of these training
      needs are met by machinery suppliers which is much lower than in the past.

      This may be a reflection on the levels of automation on contemporary machinery
      such as computer controls. It could also be that technical and nonwoven textile
      machines are often purpose built from specifications supplied by the company. Thus
      the employees, through their input, already have a working knowledge of the
      machine and therefore less training is needed after installation.

      Other training is driven by the regulatory environment within which companies work,
      including licenses for forklift drivers and electrical workers and legislative
      requirements covering OH&S and first aid officers. Figure 10 indicates that training
      is required across the full range of jobs within the companies surveyed.




                        DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 12
         Figure 10: Question - Category of Staff Requiring Training ?

                                 0%
                       13%                15%
                                                              Operator
                                                              Leading hand
              10%                                             Shift supervisor
                                                              Manager
                                                   16%        Laboratory staff

             10%                                              R&D staff
                                                              Sales Staff
                                                              Other


                     16%                    20%


     Source: MSA Survey 2006




2.6 Engagement with Vocational Education & Training

     Industry appears to be poorly informed about the VET system. The survey revealed
     that awareness of Training Package qualifications ranged between 50% and 70%
     (depending on the qualification), and almost half the industry isn’t aware of training
     through traineeships.

     Over 80% of those who were aware of the available qualifications showed that they
     had little knowledge of whether these qualifications provided the skills required by
     their organisation. Clearly a better understanding of the VET system is required in



                    DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 13
order for industry to take full advantage of the benefits for training and upskilling
employees.

The overwhelming attitude of industry to the VET system is pragmatic. There is no
doubt that the new qualifications will be supported if they can be delivered in the
workplace and subsequently enable employees to produce higher value-added
products more efficiently and at a higher quality. The journey to this ideal world will
be through “partnerships of knowledge” and ensuring the best training is done in the
best way for all technical and nonwoven textile employees. The challenge for
industry to assume greater responsibility for training and career development
remains. A possible initiative could be the development of a whole of industry
training strategy. This should also include an assessment of the current training
resources and the development of support materials aligned to the new textile
qualifications.

Over 70% of those surveyed indicated that the preferred style of training was
workbased in-house training or short-courses/workshops of 1-2 days duration (see
Figure 11). A number of companies have set aside “learning/training areas” on site
where employees can learn during work hours.


      Figure 11: Question - Most appropriate training for your company

             11%


                                                  In-house (in the workplace)
                                      42%         External (Tafe/University)
    28%                                           Short Course / Workshop
                                                  Web Based




                    19%
Source: MSA Survey 2006

The preference for workbased training is largely due to the need for specific skills
related to the particular type of machinery that the enterprise uses. It would not be
possible for a training organisation to invest in machinery for every type of
production process. Also it is easier to replace workers released for training for short
periods during production than to send them off-site.




              DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 14
The challenge for VET therefore is to create flexible training programs that allow the
industry to select the right mix of skills (units of competency) to suit both the
enterprise and wider industry requirements. These programs should be based on a
Training Package qualifications that have appropriate units of competency and
flexible packaging rules.

Training Package qualifications currently being used by the industry include:

 •   Certificate I in Textiles, Clothing & Footwear    Textiles Clothing and Footwear
     Production                                        Training Package LMT00 version 2
 •   Certificate II in Textile Production
 •   Certificate III in Textile Production
 •   Certificate IV in Textile Production
 • Diploma of Textiles Clothing and Footwear
 • Advanced Diploma of Textiles Clothing and
   Footwear
 • Certificate III in Engineering Mechanical
   Trade (TCF Mechanic)
 • Certificate II in Process Manufacturing             Plastics Rubber and Cablemaking
                                                       Training Package PMB01
 • Certificate III in Laboratory Techniques            Laboratory Operations Training
                                                       Package PML04
 • Certificate III in Competitive Manufacturing        Competitive Manufacturing
 • Certificate IV in Competitive Manufacturing         Training Package MCM04
 • Certificate IV in Business (Frontline               Business Services Training
   Management)                                         Package BSB01
 • Diploma in Business (Frontline Management)

The survey revealed that the majority of training, both formal and non formal was
paid for by the enterprise. Also as a rule, technical and nonwoven textile enterprises
tend to employ staff with existing qualifications at the higher levels. For example,
there is a higher percentage of qualified Engineers than in the general textile and
clothing industry.




               DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 15
2.7 The new technical textiles & nonwovens qualification framework

     During 2004/5, Manufacturing Skills Australia worked with the technical textiles and
     nonwoven industry to produce a qualifications framework to be included in the TCF
     Training Package LMT00 Version 2. (See Figure 12) This framework includes units of
     competency from current Training Package qualifications and new units written
     specifically for technical textiles & nonwovens:

           LMTTN2001A Set up and operate a dry laid web forming machine
           LMTTN2002A Set up and operate a spun bond web forming machine
           LMTTN2003A Use basic recognition techniques to identify technical and
                      nonwoven textiles
           LMTTN2004A Undertake web bonding processes
           LMTTN2005A Undertake web conversion and finishing
           LMTTN2006A Identify purpose and performance outcomes of technical textile
                      product
           LMTTN2007A Conduct technical textile mechanical finishing processes
           LMTTN2008A Conduct heat setting on technical textiles
           LMTTN2009A Apply surface coating to technical textiles
           LMTTN2010A Apply laminations and fusible interlinings to technical textiles
           LMTTN2011A Undertake fibre blending and feeding for nonwoven technical
                      production processes

     Also included in this qualification framework are a series of newly endorsed units
     from the Competitive Manufacturing Training Package MCM04. These units cover
     lean, agile and other modern manufacturing practices and principles which are
     common across all manufacturing.        They are singled out for inclusion in this
     qualification framework due to their strong relevancy for application in technical
     textile and nonwoven production.




                  DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 16
Figure 12: Technical Textiles and Nonwoven qualifications framework (endorsement 2006)
                = direct entry pathway                      = additional study required

                   Further appropriate qualifications for those working in the technical textiles and
                   nonwovens industries include:
                        •   Diploma of Textile Design and Development *
                        •   Advanced Diploma of Textile Design and Development *
                        •   Diploma of Textile Technology and Production *
                        •   Diploma of Competitive Manufacturing
                        •   Advanced Diploma of Competitive Manufacturing
                        •   Diploma of Frontline Management
                        •   Advanced Diploma of Frontline Management




                                Certificate IV in Textile Technology and Production *
                                                         OR
                                 Certificate IV in Textile Design and Development *
                                                         OR
                                    Certificate IV in Competitive Manufacturing
                                                         OR
                                       Certificate IV in Frontline Management




                                     Certificate III in Technical Textiles and Nonwovens
                                                         OR
                                             Certificate III in Textile Production



                                     Certificate II in Technical Textiles and Nonwovens
                                                         OR
                            Certificate II in Textile Production (Complex or Multiple Processes)




                                      Certificate II in Textile Production (Intermediate)




                                       Certificate I in Textiles Clothing and Footwear


Appendix 1 lists the Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) that are listed on the NTIS website
(www.ntis.gov.au) to deliver textile production qualifications (see 2.15). Two other organisations
based in Victoria (CSIRO and the International Fibre Centre) have consistently provided support to the
industry through resources, seminars and workshops.


                       DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 17
Appendix 1: Training Providers registered to deliver textile
production qualifications4
National Code                    Qualification Name
LMT10100                  Certificate I in Textile Production
LMT20100                  Certificate II in Textile Production (Intermediate)
LMT20200                  Certificate II in Textile Production (Complex or Multiple Processes)
LMT30100                  Certificate III in Textile Production
LMT40100                  Certificate IV in Textile Production


Organisation Name
ASEAN Training & Education Services Pty Ltd trading as ASEAN Training & Education Services Pty Ltd,
KEYSBOROUGH, VIC
Department of Corrective Services trading as Auswest Specialist Education and Training Services, PERTH, WA
Gordon Institute of TAFE trading as Gordon Institute of TAFE, GEELONG, VIC
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) (TAFE Division), MELBOURNE, VIC
TAFE NSW - Northern Sydney Institute trading as TAFE NSW - Northern Sydney Institute, ST LEONARDS, NSW
TAFE NSW - Riverina Institute trading as TAFE NSW - Riverina Institute, WAGGA WAGGA, NSW
TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute trading as TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute, ULTIMO, NSW
TAFE Tasmania, HOBART, TAS
TexSkill Limited, BRUNSWICK, VIC
Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia trading as Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia, CARLTON, VIC
The Centre For Continuing Education Inc, WANGARATTA, VIC
Murray Mallee Training Company Ltd, SWAN HILL, VIC
TAFE NSW - Illawarra Institute trading as TAFE NSW - Illawarra Institute WOLLONGONG WEST, NSW
TFIA Business Services Pty Ltd trading as TFIA Business Services Pty Ltd, MELBOURNE, VIC
Wodonga Institute of TAFE trading as Wodonga Institute of TAFE, WODONGA, VIC
Macleay Valley Workplace Learning Centre Inc, SOUTH KEMPSEY, NSW
TAFE NSW - Western Institute trading as TAFE NSW - Western Institute, ORANGE, NSW
Vocational Training Group Pty Ltd trading as VTG Vocational Training Group, BULLEEN, VIC




        4
            Sourced from: www.ntis.gov.au

                           DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 18
Appendix 2: Background to the Technical & Nonwoven Textile
industry sector
Technical and nonwoven textiles and fibres are widely regarded as the most thriving and
fast changing sector of the global textile industry. Innovation in new materials, processes
and applications is expanding non-traditional end uses for both new and existing textile
products. In contrast to popular perception of the broader TCF industries, technical textiles
and fibres is a high-technology and high value-adding activity. In short, technical and
nonwoven textiles are about function rather than fashion.

Industrial textiles, the traditional term for the industry sector, have been around since
weaving began. Up until the sixties most cars supported water bottles and the coal cars of
trains were covered by tarpaulins. Both products were made from canvas fabric woven from
flax. Australian troops were sent to world wars in the same fabric, permeated with oil and
made into waterproof coats.

The line between a traditional textile and a technical/industrial textile may seem unclear to
an outsider, as many products could arguably fall into either division depending on their end
use or functional qualities. Of course, the broad range of products described as industrial or
technical textiles adds to the complexity of defining exactly what an industrial or technical
textile is, and thus individual firms identify themselves by their products’ end use
applications.

One of the distinguishing features of the evolving technical textiles industry is the
emergence of traditional textiles and fibre producers into technical textiles. Hence, technical
textiles provide an important avenue for structural adjustment within the textiles and
broader TCF industries.

The process by which technical textiles are manufactured identifies the products further. For
instance (as demonstrated in the figure below) a technical textile could be nonwoven or the
result of more traditional textile making technologies such as knitted or woven.

More traditional fabrics, such as knits, can also be considered technical textiles if, for
instance, they have some advanced characteristic or quality (i.e. UV resistance or reduced
flammability) due to added chemicals or synthetic fibres used in the making of the fabric for
a specific end use or application. By way of example, the raschelle knitting technique which
was traditionally used for making shawls, scarves and babies’ blankets is now used for
making shade-cloth and fabric used to reinforce embankments.

Both synthetic and natural fibres are used in manufacturing technical and nonwoven
textiles. The selection and combinations of fibres used determine the ultimate end product
properties, cost and subsequent applications.




                     DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 19
Furthermore, in order to create particular and/or additional performance and functional
properties, secondary processes such as laminating, bonding, coating, surface treatments or
the imprecations of chemicals are often used.




                                        Fibre/yarn inputs


             Nonwoven                                Knitted                        Woven
            Production stream:                    Production stream:         Production stream:
        •     Spunlaid                        •      Warp                    •   Jacquard
        •     Needlepunch                     •      Rachelle                •   Rapier
        •     Spunlace                        •      Circular                •   Single layer
        •     Thermal/resin                                                  •   Double layer
        •     Airlaid                                                        •   Airjet
        •     Wetlaid




                                               Value adding
                                             Production methods:
                                         •      Chemical Finishing
                                         •      Coating
                                         •      Laminating




                            Technical & Nonwoven Textiles

                        Figure 13: The technical and nonwoven textile production streams.


History of nonwoven technology
Nonwoven technology is one of the conventional sectors of the “traditional” textile industry
and was best known for making felt used in craft products such as stuffed toys, hats and
shoe linings, to name a few. Indeed, felted fabrics were around for centuries before weaving
and knitting technology were invented. This form of manufacturing has surpassed its
humble beginnings and is classified by the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI)
as: “A fabric formed of textile fibres that are held together by mechanical interlocking in a
random web or mat, by fusing the case of thermoplastic fibres or by bonding with a
cementing agent.”

Up until the last decade or so, much of the world’s nonwovens industry was based in the
areas where the technologies were conceived and developed as recently as 50 years ago,



                       DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 20
which were the U.S., Europe and Japan. Large firms, such as Freudenberg, Kimberly-Clark,
DuPont, Johnson & Johnson’s Chicopee operation and Asahi, invented nonwoven
technologies and nurtured them to commercial scale to make a whole new range of new
materials to replace a number of traditional textiles. These pioneering firms’ large-scale
production facilities were capital-intensive and it was far too risky for smaller firms to set up
production. Thus, for many years the nonwoven industry was very much an “exclusive
club” of large producers with proprietary technologies that were guarded fiercely – for this
reason they were not part of the education and training system in any country.

Unlike the woven or knitted manufacturing disciplines, nonwovens are often further
categorised by durability of the chosen end use. That is, non-durable (single or short-life)
and durable (long-life) products. Short-life, or disposable products, dominates the
nonwovens sector, the sub categories for which are as follows:
Figure: 14: Nonwovens end use durability


                    Short-life            Long-life
                    Hygiene               Interlinings
                    Wipes                 Furnishings and bedding
                    Medical / Surgical    Shoe & Leather
                    Air Filtration        Coated / Laminates
                    Liquid Filtration     Floor coverings / carpet backings
                    Disposable Apparel    Building Construction
                                          Geotextiles / Civil Engineering
                                          Automotive
                                          Electronic Components
                                          Agriculture / Landscape
Source: INDA 2002


Applications and user industries

Whilst they play a much more important role than is commonly acknowledged, technical and
nonwoven textiles often go unnoticed as they are produced for functional properties rather
than aesthetic or decorative characteristics. They are frequently used in a range of
downstream applications in other manufacturing and service industries and, thus not highly
visible at the retail level.

A non-exhaustive list of end-uses includes aerospace, industrial, marine, military, safety
and transport textiles and geotextiles. The industry also shares a number of technologies
and has overlapping interests with other materials industries such as glass, plastics, films,
membranes, metals, composites and paper.

UK-based textile industry consulting firm, David Rigby Associates (DRA), broke new ground
in 1997 when it released a major report on the world market for technical textiles and
industrial nonwovens. It was the first time that someone had substantially sought to define


                       DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 21
the industry and collate data to measure its value and significance. A synopsis of the major
applications for technical textiles is listed below in alphabetical order (rather than that of
importance).
   •   Agriculture (Agrotech): agricultural textiles used in horticultural, forestry and fishing
       applications, such as nets, screens, ropes and cordage;

   •   Building and construction (Buildtech): a wide range of construction and architectural
       textiles, such as sound proofing, damp courses, heat resistance and insulation, pipe
       linings, reinforcements and facades as well as composite structural materials;

   •   Clothing (Clothtech): technical and functional textile components of garments and
       footwear, such as interlinings, insulating fill and waddings, and waterproofing;

   •   Environment (Envirotech): environmental and safety textiles, such as filtration and
       insulation products for such uses as mopping up oil spills, etc;

   •   Geological (Geotech): a range of geotextiles and geomembranes used for such things
       as erosion control through reinforcement and stabilisation, materials separation,
       filtration and drainage in civil engineering applications;

   •   Household (Hometech): technical components and functional textiles used in
       furnishing and floorcoverings, such as carpet and curtain backings, and fibre fill
       products such as pillows, duvets and cushions;

   •   Industrial (Indutech): industrial textiles used for such things as filtration, cleaning
       and in a wide range of products including hoses and belts for drives and conveyors;

   •   Medical and hygiene (Medtech): including textiles used for bandaging and dressings,
       hygiene products such as wipes, diapers and pads;

   •   Transport (Mobiltech): textiles used in road, rail and seas transport, such as tyre
       cord, hoses, belts, linings and seat fabrics in automobiles;

   •   Packaging (Packtech): a wide range of textiles used in sacking, packaging, wrapping
       and tying;

   •   Protection (Protech): including protective clothing including stab and bullet proof
       clothing

   •   Sports (Sporttech): including a wide range of composite materials used in boats,
       clubs, rackets, bicycle frames, as well as sail cloth, balloon fabrics, and artificial turf
       and playing surfaces.5
There are many cross overs in the sectors named above. Additionally, the market for
technical and nonwoven textiles and fibres is growing as the industry continues to innovate
and develop products for both old applications and new end uses. For example, filtration

       5
              This list of applications is derived from DRA 1997, The World Technical Textile Industry
       and its Market Prospects to 2005, Techtextil, Messe Frankfurt GMBH, other sources and the
       CSIRO CRC paper.

                      DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 22
products are used in the manufacture of food products including milk products processing
(ie. yoghurt, cheese and skinny milk); they are also used in manufacturing steel and
aluminium. Whilst they often replace a traditional product, as in the case for nonwoven
disposable medical gowns, they increasingly forge new ground for new products such as
shade sails for school grounds. Indeed, in the food processing industry, as new processed
food products are developed to satisfy the time-poor customer, so too are the filtration
techniques and thus the filtration mediums.

The above list illustrates the diversity of the industry sector; however it must be noted that
Australia does not make products in all the sectors listed. Products within these sectors may
also be low value and thus made in low labour cost markets. Conversely, they may also be
high-tech, high value products that make a significant contribution to the industry and a
given supply chain.




                     DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 23
Appendix 3: Background to the Australian vocational education
& training system
The Australian vocational education and training (VET) system is designed to be both
adaptive and responsive to the needs of all users of the training system – ensuring
continuous improvement and enhancement of training delivery. Aimed to be highly
responsive to the needs of industry and business, training can be customised to suit the
needs of any organisation. This flexibility means that training is highly focused and aligned
with the goals of a given organisation.

Training Packages underpin the training system. Qualifications can be built on different units
of competency to address different user needs. They are developed by industry to meet
specific needs and are reviewed every three years to ensure continuous improvement.
The mix of on-the-job and off-the-job training offered by the VET system is founded in the
belief that learning is fostered through performance and practice.

The VET system encourages ongoing training by offering government funding and incentives
to employers and employees. To be both equitable and accessible, the VET system helps to
achieve equity and equal opportunity for all Australians by building on the talents of
disadvantaged groups, especially Indigenous Australians.

The VET system

The fundamental elements of the system are:
   •   the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
   •   the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF)
   •   Registered Training Organisations (RTOs)
   •   State and Territory Training Authorities (STAs)


The Australian Qualifications Framework

The AQF defines all nationally recognised qualifications. It provides a single framework for
all qualifications from Senior Secondary Certification to PhD. Within the VET sector the
following qualifications can be issued:
    • Certificate I
    • Certificate II
    • Certificate III
    • Certificate IV
    • Diploma
    • Advanced Diploma
   Under the AQF, the achievement of a group of competencies leads to the attainment of a
   VET qualification.


                     DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 24
   The Australian Quality Training Framework

   The AQTF is the basis of the nationally consistent high quality VET system. It consists of
   two sets of nationally agreed standards:
    • standards for Registered Training Organisations
    • standards for State and Territory registering and course accrediting authorities.

   The adherence by training providers and registering authorities to these two standards
   will ensure a nationally consistent, high quality training system.

   Registered Training Organisations

   Training organisations must meet AQTF standards to become registered. Only registered
   training organisations (RTOs) can issue AQF qualifications and deliver accredited training
   and assessment. The training providers for the textile industry are listed in Appendix 1.

   State and Territory registering authorities

   Registering authorities in each state and territory are responsible for registering and
   monitoring training organisations and ensuring they comply with AQTF standards. They
   also accredit vocational education and training (VET) courses and approve training
   organisations’ delivery of VET to overseas students.


   Mutual Recognition
   All training organisations must recognise AQF qualifications issued by other RTOs.
   Qualifications are nationally recognised. This enhances mobility in the labour market.
   Key organisations are:
           o the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST)
           o State and Territory Training Authorities (STAs)
           o Industry Skills Councils (ISCs)
           o Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).6
           o Traineeships & Apprenticeships

A wide range of Certificate ll, lll and lV qualifications are available as apprenticeships or
traineeships. in effect these qualifications are an agreement between an employer and an
employee, in which the employer provides training and the employee learns the occupation
or trade. Despite the perception that apprentices are school leavers, age is not a restriction
and more is being done to encourage mature age apprentices and/or trainees.

There are Commonwealth incentives of up to $4,000 for the successful completion of
Certificate lll level available as an incentive for to employers.

       6
         Background – the Australian vocational education & training system was sourced from the
       website www.training.com.au a portal that was developed in conjunction state and territory training
       authorities and the Australian National Training Authority.

                       DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 25
State Governments can also provide funding to TAFE and RTO’s. Generally this funded
training can be accessed by paying enrolment fees that can vary from state to state.
Typically, they relate to the amount of enrolments and the number of nominal hours. State
funding is usually restricted to training within that State with the exception of the Albury
Wodonga area.




                    DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 26
Appendix 4: Manufacturing Skills Australia
Manufacturing Skills Australia (MSA) is the national body that provides advice on industry
training and skills development needs to government and industry. It is a not-for-profit firm
limited by guarantee, owned by industry and managed by a board of representatives from
across the manufacturing industry. It has a range of Industry Advisory Committees (IAC’s)
and reference groups that play an influential role, including;

     •   Textiles, Clothing and Footwear and Furnishing
     •   Metals Engineering, Aerospace and Boating
     •   Process Manufacturing
     •   Competitive Manufacturing
     •   Laboratory Operations

The Technical Textiles and Nonwoven Association is
represented on the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear and
Furnishing IAC.


MSA is funded through the Department of Education Science and Training and operates
through the following performance criteria:

 •       Progress against the Training Package priority areas, particularly the rationalization of
         the number of Training Packages, incorporation of employability skills and
         development of cross-industry competencies.

 •       Strong engagement with small, medium and large enterprises and State advisory
         bodies.

 •       Formal consultative mechanisms with training providers and equity groups, including
         through ISC membership or other methods of engagement.

 •       Effective support mechanisms for Registered Training Organisations seeking to
         deliver and customize Training Packages

 •       Strong links with the National Quality Council.




                       DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 27
Appendix 5: The role TTNA plays with training

The Technical Textiles and Nonwoven Association (TTNA) is a national industry association
representing the collective interests of the Australian Technical Textiles and Nonwoven
industry.

There is little doubt that education and training play a significant role in assisting the
technical textiles and nonwoven industry to meet the challenges faced by manufacturing.
The TTNA looks closely at emerging needs in order that management and workforce skills
match these changes in business operations and systems. For the future, the industry
requires a rising number of skilled workers who are able to cover broad areas of
employment with the support of flexible training. A responsive educational and training
system is crucial to all manufacturing industry sectors, as is ongoing dialogue between
industry and training providers.

To this end, the TTNA participates in the Manufacturing Skills Australia Industry Advisory
Committee (MSA-IAC) in order to contribute to the VET system for the betterment of the
Australian technical textiles and nonwoven industry. This survey is an example of the
collaborative relationship between MSA and TTNA. Indeed, this survey has provided
valuable knowledge of industry’s needs and hopefully, will be the impetus to fully utilise the
VET system, including investigating ways by which prior knowledge and short courses can
lead to accreditation so that workers can be adequately qualified.

Additionally, the TTNA has been able to provide training in areas that weren’t provided by
the VET system by accessing support from the International Fibre Centre (IFC). The
objective of the IFC is primarily to support and facilitate access to education and training
programs relating to textile processing and manufacturing from fibre to fabric, for use by
the Australian fibre and textile industry and Australian tertiary educational institutions, and
to design, introduce and manage funding programs in relation to such education and
training7. In this spirit, support from the IFC has enabled the TTNA to deliver a number of
relevant short courses on specific themes such as “coating and laminating” and “test
methods”. Another example is the successful collaboration with both RMIT and the IFC to
deliver the European Nonwovens & Disposables Association (EDANA) nonwoven course twice
in Melbourne. All aspects of nonwoven technology and production were covered in this
comprehensive three day training. This successful event was also the catalyst behind the
International Fibre Centre investing in a “home-grown” version that will be delivered at
CSIRO during July 2006. Furthermore, IFC funding provided an opportunity for a number of
industry personnel to train in product development at the Nonwovens Cooperative Research
Centre at the University of North Carolina.



       7
           Source: www.ifc.net.au

                        DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 28
DATA & INFORMATION: TECHNICAL TEXTILES & NONWOVENS - 29