Australian luxury motor yacht builder Riviera has welcomed 33 new apprentices this week to its apprenticeship program, growing a group of future craftspeople to more than 80 for 2020. This is the largest intake of Riviera apprentices since the program’s establishment in 1992.
The apprentices will undertake their training at Riviera’s 14-hectare manufacturing facility at Coomera. Here they will be mentored by the 600-strong Riviera team who oversee the design and construction of their popular motor yachts.
Riveria produce yachts from 39 to 72 feet in length that are characterised by sea keeping qualities and high calibre of construction as much as they are for their fine and luxurious finishes.
The specialist trades offered in the four-year program include boatbuilding, engineering, electrical, cabinet making, timber and composite machinists, upholstery, and composite technicians. They are facilitated through Technical and Further Education (TAFE), Skillstech and Plastic and Rubber Technical Education Centre (PARTEC).
Riviera’s owner Rodney Longhurst who is also a TAFE qualified carpenter and joiner, said the training program fosters life-long skills in craftsmanship excellence, qualities for which Riviera is world renown.
“Our philosophy is that to build world class luxury motor yachts, we need to create world class craftsmen and women.
We welcome the next generation of master boat builders to our industry and are proud that they will receive high quality training from our exceptional team. At Riviera we offer so much more than a standard apprenticeship.
“The success of our apprenticeship program over the past 24 years and our excellent retention rates affirm Riviera as an employer of choice on both the local and global stage. Indeed, our apprentices are consistently the recipients of industry awards and recognised as leaders in their trades.
“More than 90 per cent of our apprentices in the past four years have continued their careers at Riviera and are today all vital members of our team helping to meet the growing demand for our luxury motor yachts,” Mr Longhurst said.
Apprentices are rotated through all areas of the business relevant to their trade to become specialists in their chosen field and ensure all trade qualifications are met.
Riviera’s Safety and Training Manager, Adam Houlahan, said the program is designed to optimise their potential.
“In addition to apprentice training, we have developed the Propel Program, which covers both workplace and life skills and is a pathway to personal excellence.
This aspect of their apprenticeship training is about developing fine young Australians equally as fine tradespeople. We build confidence, people skills, financial maturity and goal-setting under the mentorship of key Riviera staff including Rodney Longhurst and CEO Wes Moxey.
“Outstanding apprentices are recognised with opportunities to travel nationally and internationally to work on our motor yachts and represent the company at major boat shows. We coach these young people to take advantage of all of the opportunities that Riviera has to offer,” Mr Houlahan said.
Rivera’s apprenticeship program invites students, teachers, schools and families to an evening information session and site tour in July each year. Those who express interest are offered work experience in Year 11, which may be followed by a school-based apprenticeship in Year 12.