Blogs (Media Centre)

TAFE NSW graduate paints herself a bright future

TAFE NSW Maitland

Maitland tradeswoman Abbey Bridge graduated from a Certificate III in Painting and Decorating in 2020 and now acts as a mentor for young female painting apprentices working their way up in the industry.

According to the Australian Government Job Outlook, women currently make up only 4 per cent of painting trades workers.

Ms Bridge has been promoted to Supervisor at Valley Painting and Maintenance, and she credits the support she received from TAFE NSW for getting her there and inspiring her to give back by supporting other women.

Valley Painting and Maintenance has recently hired two new female apprentices and Ms Bridge has taken them under her wing and acts as a role model and mentor for them both, with the aim to provide support for other females in the industry.

“Painting is a great career-path, especially now the industry is booming. TAFE NSW gave me the connections and experience I needed to secure my role as a supervisor.

“My teachers at TAFE NSW had extensive knowledge in their field and offered me all the support I needed to become a qualified painter. I would like to use my position, skills and qualification to support the future of the painting industry and in particular, females establishing their career paths in construction and maintenance.”

Valley Painting and Maintenance Owner Norm Toll said “Abbey is a true professional and her work is a positive reflection on the industry in general.”

“We ensure our staff are trained by TAFE NSW because they deliver a pipeline of workers to meet the growing demand for skilled workers in the painting industry and provide first-class training. The commitment of Abbey along with our two newest recruits Lucy Baker and Jaimie Enderby is unshakeable,” Mr Toll said.

During her time at TAFE NSW, Ms Bridge impressed teachers and her peers alike with her level of skill and determination, taking home a TAFE NSW Excellence Award for Apprentice of the Year.

TAFE NSW Painting and Decorating teacher, Ian Vickery, said the Certificate III in Painting and Decorating is a nationally accredited course and fully subsidised under JobTrainer.

“Now is the perfect time to pursue a career in painting and decorating with the Australian painting industry to employ over 40,900 by 2025,” Mr Vickery said.

To find out more about the range of painting and decorating courses at TAFE NSW visit or phone 131 601.

Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,