Women chase six figure salaries in trades

Teille McCoy and Kymberlee Popata are training with the 'Nailing It' programme by Destination Trades to join the trades ...
KYMBERLEE FERNANDES/FAIRFAX NZ

Teille McCoy and Kymberlee Popata are training with the 'Nailing It' programme by Destination Trades to join the trades workforce.

As the opportunities in trades grow, women are training hard for jobs that are paying over $100,000.

A new course called "Nailing It" is helping women get into trades in a number of professions.

"Trades are very well paid. There's a lot of options for women and a real shortage of people working in trades right now," Christina Rogstad, chief executive of Destination Trades says.

Kymberlee Popata wants to become a roofer in Auckland.
KYMBERLEE FERNANDES/FAIRFAX NZ

Kymberlee Popata wants to become a roofer in Auckland.

There has been a lot of interest from companies who want to employ women. According to figures from the Department of Statistics New Zealand, fewer than 2 per cent of women is employed in the building and related trades.

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Rogstad states the reasons why women are preferred for the job:

Kymberlee Popata says the 'amazing' views from the roof helped her decide her career.
KYMBERLEE FERNANDES/FAIRFAX NZ

Kymberlee Popata says the 'amazing' views from the roof helped her decide her career.

"We know from the women that are in trades that they are safer than men. They follow safety instructions. They don't think they're bullet proof so they're safer on site. They're much easier on the equipment. They have a better attention to detail. They're excellent communicators."

As for salaries, roofers can make over $100,000, plumbers range from $70,000 to $80,000 and builders from $65,000 to $70,000.

Taking advantage of the job market for tradespeople are Kymberlee Popata and Teille McCoy who are among the students.

Teille McCoy first built a doll house when she was eight.
KYMBERLEE FERNANDES/FAIRFAX NZ

Teille McCoy first built a doll house when she was eight.

Kymberlee Popata says the first time she picked a hammer was only seven weeks ago when she joined the course.

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"This wasn't my thing, but I thought I'd give it a go and then I started liking it here."

It's the electric saws and drills that captured her interest.

Teille McCoy is training to become a professional builder.
KYMBERLEE FERNANDES/FAIRFAX NZ

Teille McCoy is training to become a professional builder.

"I want to become a roofer," she says.

One of her tutors, Owen Lingard mentioned the view from the roof and it's what got her hooked on to the notion.

"The scenery [from the roof] is amazing. I was scared of heights until I stood on a scaffold here.

There's a lot of roofing job opportunities in Auckland, she reckons.

Teille McCoy has always been the "home DIY" kind.

She was eight when she built her first doll house with her dad.

After working on "little bits and pieces at home" she decided to get a formal education.

Although her family could be more supportive of her choice, she says women in trades is "a good idea".

She says she knew the basics of building, but the course has helped her learn certain cuts on wood.

McCoy, who worked as an accountant says her interest in maths has helped her with building.

The course is supported by the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

The July intake for the 10-week programme has begun. It is held at the Otara campus of the Manukau Institute of Technology. Go to www.destinationtrades.co.nz for more information.

 - Stuff

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