Industrial textiles are often made in Bangladesh, India and Myanmar.
While they have higher production and manufacturing costs than traditional textile exports, the textile industry in Australia has struggled for decades to regain its footing.
Read moreThe industry has faced challenges of cheap labour, high production costs and a lack of skilled workers.
In the early 2000s, the Australian government launched a national textile program that was supposed to attract overseas workers.
But the project was plagued by a lack the skilled labour and the lack of resources for training, training and development.
The government is now looking to bring in the most skilled workers, with a view to opening up textile mills to new business owners.
“The first objective is to bring skilled workers into the industry, which is something we’ve had since the 1960s,” Australian Secretary for Industrial Relations and Small Business and Industry Bill Schoenebaum told ABC News Breakfast.
“There’s a shortage of people to actually do the work, so what we’ve done is we’ve taken some people in and trained them, and now they’re helping out in the mill and they’re working alongside our mill workers.”
In the past few years, the government has introduced training programs for foreign workers, including from China and India.
“There are about 500 Australians that are on the program,” Mr Schoenbaum said.
Foreigners will be trained to make textiles in a factory in the country and will then be able to come back to Australia once they are ready to work.
“So they’ll have a different set of skills and a different understanding of what it’s like to make textile products,” Mr O’Connor said.
But even after the program has been introduced, the Government still has some way to go in terms of recruiting skilled workers and developing skills for domestic textile mills.
“We’ve got about a third of our textile industry that is still rural-based, and it’s a rural-centric industry,” Mr McGowan said.
“A lot of our young people who come into our industry are very keen to learn about manufacturing, but are not going to be able go and work in the textile mill because of the cost, the quality and the amount of time that it takes to get to the mill.”