Textiles Production Manager

The Job and What's Involved

As a textiles production manager, you would be responsible for overseeing all stages of the textiles manufacturing process. You would make sure that the process runs smoothly, is cost-effective and delivers products to the right standard and on time.

Your duties would include:

  • Working with suppliers (in the UK and overseas) to agree on quality standards, price, delivery times and ethical production issues.
  • Planning and monitoring production schedules and altering them when necessary.
  • Working closely with maintenance technicians to overcome production hold ups, such as machine faults.
  • Working with in-house design and sales teams, buyers and quality control departments.
  • Managing orders from retail and wholesale customers.

Due to the growth of global markets, you may be responsible for the management of supply chains extending across several countries, which could involve extensive travel.

You would normally work from 37 to 40 hours a week. Many companies operate a shift system and you may have on-call duties to deal with out-of-hours problems.

Much of your time would be spent in the office, although you may have to travel throughout the UK or overseas to meet suppliers or clients.

Starting salaries can be between £20,000 and £27,000 a year. Experienced managers can earn between £30,000 and £50,000 a year.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

Some of the world's leading technical textiles companies are based in the UK, producing, for example, clothing for NASA technicians and airbags for the major car manufacturers.

Most job opportunities are based in Yorkshire, the Midlands and the north-west of England.

Education and Training

To get into this career you would normally need a foundation degree, BTEC HND or degree in one of the following subjects:

- Textiles production
- Fashion and textile management
- Fashion and clothing technology

To search for fashion and textile-related courses and degrees, visit the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website. Please check with the individual colleges and universities for their entry requirements.

You could also move into production management if you have experience of working in textiles and fashion production as an assistant or technician.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

You would normally start work with a company on a management trainee scheme and receive on-the-job training. This would include hands-on experience in different parts of the company, working under the supervision of more experienced staff.

You could improve your career prospects with professional qualifications.

The Textile Institute (TI) offer a range of professional development qualifications, including the Fellowship, Associateship and Licentiateship awards. The level you choose would depend on your level of experience. The TI also have a list of national and international institutions offering recognised qualifications for this career.

You could also work towards the Certificate, Diploma or Advanced Diploma offered by the Institute of Operations Management.

Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A textiles production manager needs:

  • A good knowledge of the production process.
  • Project management skills.
  • Excellent organisational and planning skills.
  • The ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • A good standard of IT and maths.
  • A creative approach to problem solving.
  • Budget management experience.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • A willingness to work flexibly and travel.

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Your Long Term Prospects

There may be opportunities with companies that are diversifying into related areas, such as technical textiles, for example creating products for industry like carbon fibre.

There may be job opportunities overseas in countries where textiles production is increasingly taking place, such as India and China.

Get Further Information

Institute of Operations Management (IOM),
Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road,
Corby, Northants NN17 4AX
Tel: 01536 740105
Website: www.iomnet.org.uk

Skillset Careers
Tel: 08080 300 900 (England & Northern Ireland)
Tel: 0808 100 8094 (Scotland)
Tel: 08000 121 815 (Wales)
Website: www.skillset.org/careers

Focus Point,
21 Caledonian Road, London N1 9GB
Website: www.skillset.org

Textile Institute,
1st Floor, St James's Buildings,
Oxford Street, Manchester M1 6FQ
Tel: 0161 237 1188
Website: www.textileinstitute.org

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