The global authority for standards in the wool textile industry, the International Wool Textile Organization has been representing the collective interests of global wool trade since 1930. Having over 33 members in 23 countries across the world, the IWTO has been running a successful Young Professionals program since 2012.
Valuable insights for young professionals
Through this program, the organization offers mentorship and networking opportunities to professionals under 35 years. The skills of these young professionals are matched with those of senior industry member to provide them with valuable insights and experience into their strengths.
The International Wool Textile Organization held its first IWTO Congress 2021 from May 17-21, 2021. The meeting focused on preparing young professionals for a career in the wool industry. Elaborating on her experience, Christa Rochford, Wool Marketing Program Manager, American Wool Council, who entered the industry seven years ago, urged the professionals to work harder to make their mark in the industry and encourage others to consider it as a career option. She emphasized on sustainability in the wool industry as being one of the key values for IWTO, and one that extends beyond the product itself.
Educational programs to upskill wool growers
Rochford’s speech was followed by a presentation by China Wool Textile Association that summed up the opportunities for young people in the wool industry. Although focusing on China, the presentation emphasized on the similarity of trends in the industry across the world. The presentation elaborated on the promising career opportunities for young professionals in the industry and opportunities for them to acquire new skill set.
Elaborating its strategic plan Wool 2030 for the national wool industry, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) emphasized on the need to upskill wool growers to fuel future growth. The organization said, this could present a huge challenge for the industry as only a few universities offer wool specialist courses. The wool industry also faces an acute fund shortage to undertake future research and development activities. The IWTO can the industry meet these challenges highlighting career opportunities to young professionals.
Off late, several wool textile companies have been supporting the industry by funding specialized education programs. One such company is the Marzotto Group, which is supporting a two-year diploma course in Fashion Sustainability by offering space for course classes inside the group’s mills in Valdagno, Italy.