Breaking Boundaries in Exterior Plastering

BCITO apprentice Krishanee Tamou’s journey into the world of exterior plastering is a tale of embracing new challenges and breaking stereotypes. Her dedication to the trade was recently recognised when she was awarded the Resene Rockcote Apprentice of the Year. This accolade recognises her hard work and commitment in a traditionally male-dominated field.

Winning the award was a significant milestone for Krishanee. Out of 170 nominees, just five were women.

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“I was stoked and straight off my seat to claim the award. Celebrating with my teammates was cool. It’s great to be nationally recognised by the industry, especially as a woman, doing it for wāhine,” Krishanee says.

Breaking gender stereotypes was a major motivation for enrolling in her apprenticeship, as well as personal growth.

“It’s a male-dominated industry, and I don’t like being told I can’t do things! I wanted to upskill and pass these skills on to others in my team.”

Krishanee’s entry into exterior plastering was somewhat unexpected. She was down south, running her own business working with sheep, when her brother mentioned he needed another worker in his own contracting business.

“I’d had enough of sheep, so I decided to give the trades a go,” she recalls.

Her introduction to painting and plastering was intense but rewarding. After moving from Gore to Christchurch, Krishanee was immediately placed on a commercial site.

“I learnt the ins and outs straight away and got a good understanding of the regulations quite early on. It was a good way to start and learn what is required on a commercial site compared to a residential site,” she explains.

Having grown up with six brothers, being the only woman in her company wasn’t an issue. The diverse and challenging work environment was exactly what she needed.

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“I was thrown in the deep end, but it was great—that’s what I wanted, a challenge.”

She credits her awards success to her supportive team, including her employers Corey and Lana, and encourages other women considering an apprenticeship not to hesitate.

“Don’t be scared to ask for help. You can feel shy and intimidated, but who cares! Always put your hand up, as people are willing to help. Give it a go, be curious, and ask questions.”

We need more people from all backgrounds to consider a career in the trades. BCITO has the resources and support systems in place to ensure everyone can enhance and refine their skills. To learn more, head to: https://bcito.org.nz/

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