Ruby, 27, is currently completing her third year painting apprenticeship, for ProColour Painting and specialises in repaints. Ruby comes from a diverse background and after leaving school she tried various roles in retail as well as moving overseas and experiencing life in Australia. It was only by chance that Ruby came back to Nelson and got a job at Bunnings. Working there exposed her to the trade side of the things and piqued her interest in painting. She then met a BCITO trainer who introduced her to painting, and eventually, she landed her apprenticeship opportunity. That’s when Ruby decided to start her painting career and says:
“I haven’t looked back and love what I do”.
Ruby originally started out painting new builds where she learned all her skills on the job from her colleagues and employer. However, Ruby’s apprenticeship experience is supported by BCITO, which provides all the necessary materials, including a textbook, an app to track progress, and a trainer who visits every few months to run tests, assess knowledge, and provide teaching and support. After a year of painting new builds, Ruby was ready for a new challenge and decided to give repaints a go. Again, Ruby had no experience in repainting houses but felt confident in her skills learnt to make the transition. Ruby is responsible for painting the exteriors of homes, including walls, gutters, roofs, and everything in between.
“I love the fact that every day is different in my job. I get to travel around the region and meet new people.”
Ruby’s painting apprenticeship is three years long and run through BCITO. The apprenticeship covers everything you need to know about applying paint, what tools to use, prep, filling holes, masking and sanding. You learn about legislation and regulations around painting and how it affects our environment. Also water blasting, gib stopping, wallpapering and how to set up and use the spray machine. The apprenticeship involves attending a block course in Christchurch every year where you are in a classroom environment with apprentices all over the South Island doing both theory and practice activities to do with painting and decorating.
Ruby enjoys working with the team at ProColour Painting – “everyone gets along well which makes work really fun and enjoyable.” Ruby generally works on jobs with her co-worker, Tyler and she said “they know each other’s work style well – it makes work so much easier.” Ruby will work on jobs from start to finish, creating strong relationships with clients.
We asked Ruby what she enjoys about the Nelson Tasman region – she said she loves the great weather and makes the most of the people here. She has lots of friends and gets out and about playing sport. “I play soccer games during the week and on the weekends.” Ruby also created an Instagram account to share her painting work @repaintswithRuby. Ruby has some insightful advice for those wanting to follow in the similar footsteps
“Don’t feel like you can’t because you can. You’re going to learn it’s a fun job and the skills you learn will stick with you for life. You have to give it a go to know what you want to do and if it’s for you.”