Outdoors, fitness, and fine-finishing skills

If you’re like Kurt Barnes and have a passion for being outdoors, for fitness and fine finishing skills, then exterior plastering may be for you.

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Kurt Barnes is a third-year exterior plastering apprentice working for Dreamcoat Plastering in Christchurch. Kurt is also this year’s BCITO Apprentice Leader for the Plastering sector and is a capable ambassador for his trade.

Initially, Kurt picked up his first job in plastering through a family acquaintance.

“I got into plastering through a family friend. They offered me a job and I laboured for their company for around eight months. After that, I moved to my current company, Dreamcoat Plastering, and have been here ever since.”

From here, Kurt’s employer highlighted a career path,

“My Boss just had a chat with me one day about my future. He told me about the Proprietary Plaster Cladding Systems apprenticeship and right then, we got it started.”

The Dreamcoat company not only perform ‘dream’ plastering but also have a dream team,

“We have around 20 employees, four of which are apprentices. The team I currently work with are awesome with great company morale,” says Kurt.

Dreamcoat also has a great training environment with skilled plasterers training the up-and-coming apprentices.

“Nick, the foreman I currently work with, is amazing. He just started with us last year and has taught me so much already.”

One component of the trade that Kurt appreciates is the physicality of working in an active outdoor role.

“I love the physical side of the job. It keeps you fit, you build up a strong physical ability, and it also enables you time to get to the gym outside of work. We do roughly 45-hours per week, and I get a good routine with plenty of time to live, including getting to the gym.”

Another component is the rewards of patience and learning fine finishing skill sets. It gives Kurt a sense of satisfaction.

“When I first started, I couldn’t even hold my own hawk. It’s a skill that takes time. I have been doing this job for four years now, and I feel I only just became confident with it at the end of last year. I enjoy the detailing side of the job; floating, painting, and anything to do with finishing work is great. I love standing back at the end of the job and looking back over it and being proud!”

Kurt is now learning how to measure up material quantities and labour content for jobs. He has big plans and is looking to progress his career into some form of management role in the future.