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Manteena have had a Carpentry Apprenticeship and Building Pathways Program for the past 3 years, creating opportunities for young apprentices to gain qualifications, understand the building process and progress into Leading Hand, Site Supervisor, Site Manager or office-based roles.

Mitch Gatenby joined the Manteena Apprentice Program in the third year of his Carpentry Apprenticeship and was named the 2022 Apprentice of the Year for MBA ACT last Friday.

Mitch’s passion for quality, high end construction is what led him to Manteena Residential 2 years ago.


Firstly, congratulations! How does it feel to be named Apprentice of the Year?

It’s an incredible honour to take it out. It’s not something I was expecting and you don’t get an apprenticeship in hopes of winning Apprentice of the Year but it means a lot to be recognised for the effort I have put in over the years.

Tell me more about your career to date. How did you get into carpentry?

I used to work at Volkswagen and I knew I wanted to do an apprenticeship and get into construction. I knew a few carpenters who put me in contact with a few builders and that’s really how it all started.

For me carpentry was the trade of choice. I wanted to get my qualifications and learn the skills around building, and client and project management within building, so it just made sense.

I worked for a couple of builders before joining Manteena and was able to learn about the different areas of carpentry and building more generally at different scales which has been invaluable. It’s been really cool to learn different skills and delivery processes as well as gain an understanding of the whole building and construction process so I’ve been pretty lucky.

What’s it like working for Manteena?

It’s the best job I have ever had. We have a really good team in Residential and everyone is really welcoming across the entire group.

Building high quality, top end homes with a focus on the finishes is what I have always wanted to do so I love it.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship in construction, or more specifically a career in Carpentry?

Having a trade is invaluable. There are so many areas in life where I can apply the skills I have learnt which makes it more than just a job in some ways.

There is always work available and options to move and change within the industry once you finish your apprenticeship, so you aren’t locked into just being a trade if you don’t want to be. I would highly recommend trade based apprenticeships to anyone who wants to get into the construction industry and who wants to be a builder or Site Manager someday.

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