Blogs (Media Centre)

TAFE NSW Maitland leading the state in producing female Painters

TAFE NSW Maitland

TAFE NSW graduate and Maitland Tradeswoman Zoe Gray secured her dream job as a Painter for Steel City Painting and is urging others to consider a career in the industry with demand surging thanks to the construction boom.

The number of women in construction roles increased by 34% between 2015 and 2020, however females make up only 12% of the overall public infrastructure workforce, leaving construction as still the most male-dominated industry.

Ms Gray started her TAFE NSW journey through a taster program, which allowed her to sample some courses and decided painting and decorating was the career for her. This month she graduated from a Certificate III in Painting and Decorating.

The 20-year-old follows in the footsteps of other successful TAFE NSW graduates, Excellence Award Winner Abbey Bridge and World Skills gold medalist Gabrielle Trimmer who works for SAGE Painting.

“It’s such a rewarding career, I knew I wanted to do physical work and didn’t want to be in an office but wasn’t quite sure what would be the right career path for me. TAFE NSW gave me the direction and the qualifications I need to realise my dream of becoming a Painter,” Ms Gray said.

Ms Gray said she couldn’t be happier to turn up to work every day and get her hands dirty.

“People don’t seem to expect a female arriving at a job but with so many other women now working in the industry in the Hunter area, I hope we’ll be changing people’s idea of what it means to be a tradie.”

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.

“We do everything we can to encourage and support women in trades at TAFE NSW and Zoe is another example of the high calibre of graduates produced.”

“Now is the perfect time to pursue a career in painting and decorating, we know there is a strong commitment by the government to promote major infrastructure projects, this is a very positive thing for job seekers,” 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: TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,