ROUNDTABLE: Addressing the industry’s skills gap for the future.

Join us on Wednesday 2nd March at 10am on the #TradeDecoratorFestival for this roundtable discussion to look at how we can address the industry’s skills gap for the future. 

This live panel discussion will be looking at the gender imbalance, the skills gap in general and what needs to be done as Painting & Decorating is massively undersubscribed in colleges. How can we drive more decorators, male and female in to the industry to ensure we have future talent coming through.

Areas for discussion will include:

  •  The Impact of removing Level 3 apprenticeship in painting and decorating
  • Increasing diversity in the industry (gender, ethnicity and income groups)
  • Promoting a positive image of the industry in schools
  • Mental health and young people
  • Bridging the gap between school an the workplace
  • What it is like for a female to be in construction?
  • The effects of the covid pandemic?
  • How to get younger people into the trade?

There will also be a chance to ask your questions to the panel, who will also share their thoughts on the future of the industry.


Vickie Mather – Dulux Academy

Vickie holds a Masters degree in Strategic Human Resource Management & Development and 24+ years’ experience in learning and development. She is a talented and creative L&D professional who combines a real hands-on approach with a deep understanding of business priorities and learning interventions. 

She specialises in the implementation of vocational qualifications, gaining experience through previous consultancy assignments and the execution of an Apprenticeship programme across a multi-site trade merchanting business. 

Since 2015 she has led the development of the Dulux Academy, growing a team of decorating experts, designing a full curriculum, engaging third-party providers and partnerships, including City & Guilds and fitting out a flagship training facility at the organisation’s Slough-based head office and developing a network of college partners across the UK and more recently purpose built facilities within key locations across the Dulux Decorator Centre network. 

In 2018 the role expanded to include strategic and operational leadership of the Dulux Select Decorators scheme. A network of circa 600 accredited decorators where she focuses on developing and delivering a suite of benefits that support the professional and personal needs of this audience.

Sandie Brownbridge Webster – Head Judge for CITB Skillbuild

Self employed Painter and Decorator (9 years). 

  • First female to win nationals in painting and decorating. 
  • Runner up for women in construction 2020, design and build magazine.
  • Member of the painting and decorating association.
  • Stem abassador.
  • Rotarian.

Ellie Jobes – HR Director at Bagnalls

She is also the Director with responsibility for health and safety. Bagnalls is a national painting contractor with around 600 employees, most of them painters and decorators. The company has been operating since 1875, and has employed apprentices for much of this time. Currently there are around 60 apprentice painters employed by Bagnalls.

Ellie is involved in all aspects of HR, including supporting the recruitment and development of apprentice painters, and Management Trainees. Having previously worked in the charity sector with children, Ellie is passionate about offering opportunities to young people, particularly those from diverse backgrounds.


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