Strong female presence at pre-trades

Forty-eight percent of New Zealand’s population are women, but they only make up 16% of the painting and decorating industry. Could investing in more female apprentices help the industry battle the current labour shortage? Tina Falconer, a painting and decorating tutor at Ara, certainly thinks so. 


During the last two years Tina has noticed a rise in female enrolment in the pre-trade painting and decorating course. Tina says, “Painting has always been a trade that has interested females. However, historical numbers on this course were about half and half. In the last two years the ratio of females to males has noticeably increased.” The current painting and decorating course that Ara are running has a ratio of three to one putting women in the majority. 

Tina adds that there have been many high performing females enrolled on the course. She says, “Women bring a great set of skills with them to the course. They often have a great eye for detail and are hands-on learners. Many pick up the skills quickly because they put the time into practising them, striving for perfection. They also have great soft skills, communicate well and get along with those in their team. It’s very common for female students to take the lead on group work.”

Ara has high attendance rates at their pre-trade course and the students are dedicated and ready to learn. Because of this, they have really good employment rates. They also receive positive feedback from employers who take on women that have graduated from a course. 

Tina’s says her message to employers is, “Don’t mock it till you’ve tried it. If you’re looking for your next apprentice, do your business a favour and consider taking on a female.” 

If you need help finding your next apprentice, or have someone on board who you’re ready to sign up now, contact us on 0800 422 486

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