Busting three common trades myths

Two men in a warehouse

What comes to mind when you think of the trades industry? Trades are for men? The jobs are dirty, noisy and physically demanding? They're dead-end jobs? 

These are common assumptions about jobs in the trades. With the recent Got a Trade week (22–26 August) highlighting the industry, we've busted these trades and services myths.

Myth 1: The trades and services industry is for men

While traditionally the building and construction industry has been dominated by men, the number of women in these jobs is on the rise. This year, 263 women are training through the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO).

Sarah Cotton became a fully qualified crane operator after half a year of training. She agrees it's hard physical work but says, "women can do anything men can do". Sarah's just one of the great female role models in the industry that prove this!

Myth 2: All trades work is dirty, noisy and physically demanding

Although this is true for some trades jobs, there are many where this isn't the case. The trades industry includes a broad range of jobs, from hairdressing to aviation, and retail sales to social service work. Faleola Faingataa is completing his apprenticeship in telecommunications with Vodafone. He gets to rotate around areas of the business and try cool new things, including working on the launch of the Netflix app while he was with the release and deployment management team.

Myth 3: Trades positions are dead-end jobs

There are genuine long-term career opportunities in New Zealand’s trades and services for young, motivated people. One bonus of completing an apprenticeship is that you earn while you learn, meaning you won't finish your studies with student loan debt. Sam Gascoigne is recently qualified and already a partner in a roofing business! Plumbing and gasfitting apprentice Jackson Ruakere emphasises that the opportunities are endless: "A trade can take me anywhere, I will have the opportunity to work in countries overseas if I choose to", he says.

Find out more


  • Got a Trade website, accessed July 2016, (gotatrade.co.nz)