- Textile Industry in Canada
- Before You Come to Canada
- Preparing to work in the Textile Industry
- Finding a Job in Canada
- Additional Resources
If you are looking for a challenging, rewarding and exciting career, Canada’s textile industry could be the right place for you!
Textile companies perform three main types of activities.
- Yarn spinning: This involves the spinning of stable fibres into industrial and commercial yarns, texturing chemical-based filament yarns (artificial and synthetic) and manufacturing thread for crafts, embroidery and sewing.
- Fabric manufacturing: This is the manufacturing of woven fabrics, nonwoven fabrics and knitted fabrics.
- Finishing and coating of fabrics and textiles: Textile ennobling and coating, laminating and bonding fabrics.
The last decade has been a time of significant change for the sector, with companies moving away from traditional markets and working together to produce specialized component products in a way that has not been seen in the past. Sector leaders have discovered that to move forward, the industry must focus on technological, specialized, high-end or value-added products.
The establishment of a skilled work force in emerging occupations — such as senior or specialist managers, supervisors, engineers, mechanics, sales, and research and development staff — is key to companies successfully transitioning to a technical textile manufacturing base .
Approximately 30% of current senior and specialist managers are 55 years of age or older. Industry estimates place the number of positions that will require staffing by 2015 due to replacements and expansions at more than 4,000. The implications for leadership within the industry and for succession planning are significant.
Key occupational groups such as management, applied sciences and production operations are also ageing and it is estimated that by 2015, 23% of positions held by the current work force will need to be staffed due to replacement and expansion.
There are a number of important steps you can take before you arrive in Canada to improve your chances of finding a rewarding career.
The FCRO provides helpful resources, such as the Planning to Work in Canada? workbook, which can help you in finding important information to develop your job-search plan.
Language skills are important for a successful career in Canada. Your communications and comprehension skills in English or French may be assessed in order to determine your proficiency. If you need to improve your language skills, start before you come to Canada.
After you arrive in Canada, find immigrant services in your area including language training, job-search help and, in some cases, job placements.
Your official education, work and identity documents are also important. It is much easier for you to gather your documents while still in your home country than to attempt to do so once you arrive in Canada.
If your documents are neither in English nor in French, you will need to have them translated into one of these languages. Verify which documents are required for your occupation and ensure that you will be able to present them in the required language upon request.
The number of immigrant workers in the textile industry is steadily increasing. At the time of the 2006 census, new Canadians represented 31% of the textile work force. The THRC offers internationally trained workers the tools they need to upgrade their skills and fill labour gaps within the textile industry.
The textile industry has collaborated on the development of a number of resources that can ease your transition into the work force. The Textiles Human Resources Council (THRC) has created online communities of practice within its Knowledge Networks site to help people connect with one another and facilitate the sharing of ideas and solutions. You can access the network to ask for help, join ongoing discussions, and refer to previous posts and consult industry best practices.
The online Skills and Learning Portal is designed to assist immigrant workers in developing the skills required to facilitate labour market integration. Because lifelong learning is key to ensuring that workers remain current with industry trends and development, the THRC provides industry workers and candidates with access to more than 60 e-learning programs on textile manufacturing skills, textile technical skills, business skills and computer skills. You can gain access to the Skills and Learning Portal by sending THRC an e-mail.
In addition, the THRC works with a number of educational partners to offer certification programs designed to enhance or meet your previously attained qualifications.
As you prepare to work in the textile industry, there are a few other important things to keep in mind. For instance, the rapid change of pace in textile manufacturing companies means that in addition to demonstrating that you have the required experience and specialized skills, you must also be flexible and adaptable to succeed in the industry.
As an internationally trained worker, it is important that you take the time to research job requirements in Canada and develop a plan for finding work.
The THRC has developed a job board to connect job seekers with prospective employers, and is actively pursuing offshore recruitment opportunities to attract international workers and manufacturing graduates.
Through the Manufacturing Jobs Resource Network, the THRC helps job seekers prepare their résumés and apply for posted employment opportunities. To submit your résumé and access job opportunities, visit the Manufacturing Jobs Resource Network.
The textile industry is dispersed throughout Canada, with 38% of the industry situated in Quebec and 34% in Ontario. Employment centres are also located in British Columbia (8%), Atlantic Canada (8%) and Alberta (5%), although they represent a smaller portion of the industry. It is also important to keep in mind that most textile industry employment opportunities are concentrated outside of major urban centres.
For additional information about careers in today’s textile industry, you can also consult the Explore Textiles website .