Seeing female workers on the tools is becoming more commonplace on the border, thanks to two local businesses that are leading the way in supporting females into male dominated trades.

Farben Painting & Decorating in Albury, and Symmetrix Electrical in Corowa, have recently employed female apprentices and are delighted with the contribution they are making to their businesses.

Business Manager for Farben Painting & Decorating, Victoria Larkin, has appointed two female apprentices in the past year to help fill a skill gap they are experiencing.

“There’s a huge shortage of qualified painters on the border so we recruit apprentices every six months and train them up to help fill that gap,” Mrs Larkin said.

“We’re seeing more and more women apply for these apprenticeships, and in my experience, they are often the strongest applicants.

“Young women make brilliant tradespeople. They have wonderful attention to detail and are great communicators. But there’s still a perception among people that jobs in trades are for ‘the boys’.

“It is not about strength, weight or height requirements. For our business, it’s about culture. This includes worksite leadership, mentoring, conversations with the tradies on the tools, and leading by example from the top down. We’ve never had a problem; the women hold their own and the men are very accepting of them within the team.

“Our two apprentices, Latisha and Cassie, are doing a wonderful job and are learning so much from our team. I would employ another female apprentice in a heartbeat, if they were the strongest applicant,” Mrs Larkin said.

Matt Mahon from Symmetrix Electrical in Corowa has had a similar experience, after employing female apprentice, Beccy, to work as an Electrotechnology Electrician.

“Beccy approached us last year for work experience and from day one it was clear that her attention to detail and initiative were valuable assets to the team,” he said.

“We were pleased to see Beccy throw her hat into the ring when it was time for us to put on another apprentice.

“We had lots of women apply for the apprenticeship which is great for the industry – I think it’s a sign that times are changing,” Mr Mahon said.

Both businesses worked with VERTO in Albury to sign up their apprentices. VERTO is a provider of the Australian Government’s Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) Program across all parts of NSW.

VERTO’s Chief Executive Officer, Ron Maxwell, said the skills shortage in Australia is creating demand for more women to carve out careers in trade industries.

“You don’t have to look far back into our past to find a time when the traditional trades, such as plumbing, carpentry and electrical, were 100% male. A shift is taking place, but it’s not happening fast enough,” he said.

“This largely untapped market has the potential to save our trade industries, especially as they begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need more businesses to take the lead of Farben Painting & Decorating and Symmetrix Electrical and create opportunities for more women to have successful careers in non-traditional trades,” Mr Maxwell said.

We encourage women looking to get started in an apprenticeship to visit or phone 1300 4 VERTO (1300 483 786).



VERTO is a provider of the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Program across all parts of New South Wales.


Whether you are unemployed and wanting to secure a job or looking to formalise your skills through study, VERTO has a course for you.
Employment Services

Employment Services

At VERTO, we offer a range of employment services designed to help both individuals and businesses find the right opportunities.
Community Services

Community Services

VERTO’s Community Services programs provide free, practical assistance on a range of services for selected regional communities.



VERTO Celebrates 40 Years

This October, VERTO is celebrating 40 years of supporting people in NSW through quality education, employment, apprenticeship, and community services.

According to VERTO CEO, Ron Maxwell, VERTO has grown from humble beginnings as a small evening college in Bathurst to a national organisation employing more than 500 staff and servicing thousands of clients every year.

Founded in 1983 as the Central West Regional Evening College and in 2012, rebranded as VERTO Limited – with VERTO being Latin for ‘transform’.

Read more

Why choose Verto

VERTO is a not-for-profit organisation assisting businesses and individuals with all their apprenticeship, employment and training needs.

Our expertise covers a range of areas including Aboriginal services, Australian apprenticeships services, disability services, employment services and vocational training to help businesses, individuals and local industry to thrive.

You'll find the team in over 65 locations New South Wales.

Read more


CareerGate is the perfect tool for anyone looking at an apprenticeship

Whether you’re a school leaver or someone looking for a career change, CareerGate is the perfect tool to find the right apprenticeship for you.

CareerGate is an online tool designed to help you find the right apprenticeship option based on a series of assessments around your skills and future career plans.

The assessments take around 30-45 minutes and once complete, it provides you with a starting point for your apprenticeship journey, identifying your ideal career path and the steps you can take to get there.

Start your apprenticeship journey

Popular Short Courses & Qualifications

    VERTO proudly supports Women in Non-Traditional Trades

    Trade careers are rewarding and positively impact the economic security of women.

    At VERTO, we see many female tradies who have forged successful and fulfilling careers in trade industries. We’re passionate about continual growth in this area – not only through ongoing promotion of women in non-traditional trades, but also by providing the best support possible to current tradies.

    Learn more

    Latest News & Blogs

      Training Services

      At VERTO, our goal is to provide the training and skills development that will prepare you for the future. We offer a range of training courses that cover numerous skills and qualifications.

      Join our Team

      At VERTO, our goal is to provide the training and skills development that will prepare you for the future. We offer a range of training courses that cover numerous skills and qualifications.

      Coonabarabran Colour Run

      Our VERTO (Australia) team had an amazing time organizing the 'Family Fun Day' in collaboration with the Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council! It was a day filled with non-stop excitement – from the vibrant colour run to fantastic face painting. Plus, the delicious barbecue added the perfect flavour to the day!

      Subscribe to our Newsletter

      Stay up to date with the latest news in apprenticeship, employment
      and training services by subscribing to VERTO’s Newsletter!

      Want to find out more?

      We'd love to hear from you. Call us today on 1300 4 VERTO (1300 483 786)
      Email us at:

      Find your local VERTO office