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Traditionally a male-dominated area, the Automotive Refinishing Technology course at Sydney TAFE has seen a noticeable increase in the female enrolments. This line of study can lead to jobs in smash repairs, painting and restoration.
"The ever-changing technology, procedures, special effects and finishes used in the industry keeps it fresh and challenging and the diversity and scope of work gives students excellent grounding… it's a dynamic trade," said Garry Clear from Sydney TAFE. "Skills are transferable, shifting into refinishing areas such as industrial coating, kitchen, glass and even furniture coatings."
Megan Riley, 22, from Eastwood in Sydney, is one example of the new wave of women eager to explore this industry area.
"I applied for a job as a detailer (car washer) and took an interest in the painting side," she said. "I was asked to help out in the paint shop, preparing and sanding car parts for the head painter. I enjoyed working in the paint shop so much that when I was offered an apprenticeship I agreed."