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Purdy supports more diversity

One of the largest employers in the UK – the construction industry has been making significant progress in the last few years. The Office for National Statistics shows women represented just under 20 per cent of the workforce in 2014, but are expected to fill a quarter of jobs by 2020.

The manual trades have seen an increase in the past year, now accounting for six per cent of the total workforce. Bournemouth and Poole College, for example, has reported an additional 30 per cent of women signing up for painting and decorating courses in the past two years.

And the time is right for a new pool of talent across the board. Construction and house-building companies are on the up following the darker days of the recession. As they look to meet the demands of new homes in the social housing, private letting and home ownership sectors, the demand for skilled painters and decorators will rise – heralding the need for a talent influx.

Paint brush manufacturer Purdy is highlighting an exampole of the success that has been achieved by woman entering the P&D trade. A company spokesmen comments, “While we have seen a real evolution of working demographics in the past 90 years, we are keen to welcome even more of a transition whereby talented women are entering the industry “.

Case study: Sandie Webster, Level Three Female Painter and Decorator
I realised very quickly into my level one course at Lincoln College that decorating was the right path for me.

I was entered into the national competition CITB Skillbuids, where I came ninth in the UK. I was then entered into the competition again during my second year and came fifth. In my third year at Lincoln College I entered again and came first and made history as the first ever female to win the competition – this was a proud moment and I still remember that great sense of pride and satisfaction to this day.

I actually used Purdy brushes back then and I still do – I pride myself on my quality of work and they have always helped give my work the best finish possible.

Shortly after qualifying from Lincoln College I was accepted for a loan from the Prince’s Trust, which meant I could become self employed. I started my own business in 2013 and have been going ever since.

Since becoming self employed, I have been contacted by a few trade titles to write product reviews and have recently appeared in a national newspaper representing tradeswomen. I have also been invited back to Lincoln college to speak to students about how to achieve their dream jobs – using my journey as inspiration.

It is important for any women who are training to be decorators to believe in themselves and their ability. It is vital to persevere with people, always be determined and treat every job as if it is your first. There will be times where you will receive negative comments, but just laugh off the banter and prove that you are equal, if not better. Confidence is key.
Being a decorator is an extremely demanding job, especially if you are self employed and have a family. However, the job is so rewarding, it makes it all worthwhile.

I am so proud I have achieved so much in a short time. Being the first ever female to win the National Skill Show (in 2013) is my greatest achievement, as it was based on skill under extremely high pressure with over 100,000 spectators.

The thing I love about my profession the most is the finished product and that level of trust I build up with clients who brief me on a project and know they will get a quality finish every time.

Purdy supports more diversity
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