Palmerston North's Josh Allen, who represented the lower North Island, was the only male in the group of four who competed in the Master Painters New Zealand Apprentice Painter of the Year in Rotorua at the weekend.
Allen competed against apprentices from Pukekohe, Christchurch and Queenstown to produce the best children's play wharenui.
They showed their skills by painting, wallpapering and decorating the interior and exterior of a 2m sq timber wharenui which Resene has donated to local communities.
Chelsey Froese from Queenstown won the tile.
The four apprentices are in the final year of their BCITO painting and decorating apprenticeship or have just finished the three-year qualification.
The four were chosen to represent their regions after judges visited properties to check out their portfolio of work, talked to employers and customers about their skills, expertise and aspirations, and completed a general knowledge quiz about decorating.
The contestants enjoyed an all-expenses-paid trip to Rotorua with a partner and two other supporters as part of their prize.
New Zealand Master Painters chief executive Brian Miller says this competition shows how the trade, which focuses on creative skills and attention to detail, is a good choice for young women in the booming construction industry.
"Becoming a specialist in painting and wall coverings can also lead to running your own business.
"The job losses for Covid-19 have impacted so many women, but construction is booming, so the painting industry is one women could turn to."
The BCITO says currently 18 per cent of the painting and decorating apprentices are female compared with 3 per cent a few years ago.
Overall, less than 3 per cent of construction tradespeople are women, but painting and decorating is the most popular trade for women.
Miller says young women have featured highly in the competition in recent years due to their strong eye for detail and ability to be forthcoming with their creative ideas on colour matching.
Also, many homeowners prefer to have women working in their homes.