Riviera recently welcomed 100 students, parents and teachers from schools across south-east Queensland for a site tour of its Gold Coast production facility ahead of the 2021 intake of new apprentices.
The site tour is one of two organised by Riviera each year to inform high school students who are considering a rewarding career in the marine industry and want to learn more about Riviera and its award-winning apprenticeship program.
Although COVID-19 caused the second site tour to be cancelled, Riviera continues to work closely with schools to offer pathways for students to be trained by its world-class boatbuilders and technicians.
Requests from schools for site visits climbed to about 300 this year, exceeding expectations by Riviera. This follows a move by Riviera earlier this year to expand its association with secondary schools across south-east Queensland to give more students an insight into the apprenticeship opportunities that are available.
Rewarding career opportunities
Industry liaison officers from 40 schools visited Riviera’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Coomera in June to be apprised of Riviera’s unique apprenticeship program.
“Many of the industry liaison officers were from new schools that we didn’t already have an affiliation with, so it was pleasing to give them an idea of the many career opportunities available to school graduates,” said Riviera’s Training and Safety Manager Adam Houlahan.
“Training officers obviously want to place their students on a highly valued career path, while we’re looking for people who really want to be a part of the industry. We’re especially interested in getting more young women involved.”
Riviera has expanded its association with secondary schools to more than 85 across south-east Queensland and northern NSW as far south as Casino.
The specialist trades offered in the four-year apprenticeships include boatbuilding, engineering, electrical, cabinet making, timber and composite machinists, upholstery, and composite technicians.
“The success of our apprenticeship program 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.” – Rodney Longhurst
Mentoring for success
Riviera’s apprentices are mentored by the 600-strong Riviera team who create and innovate motor yachts of distinction. The yachts, from 39 to 72 feet in length, are acclaimed internationally for their sea-keeping qualities and world-class calibre of construction as much as they are for their fine and luxurious finishes.
All apprentices participate in Riviera’s award-winning Propel program which targets confidence building, people skills, financial maturity and goal-setting under the mentorship of senior staff members including Riviera owner Rodney Longhurst and CEO Wes Moxey, both of whom began their careers as apprentices.
Mr Longhurst, who is a TAFE-graduate carpenter and joiner, said the training program fosters life-long skills in craftsmanship excellence, qualities for which Riviera is world renowned.
“We know that to build world-class luxury motor yachts, we must train and support 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 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.”
For Dallas Gillman, a student at St Thomas Moore College in Brisbane, the site tour was his first opportunity to visit Riviera’s production facility.
“I was immediately inspired, energised and eager to see more,” he said. “We had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with several apprentices, staff and supervisors who were all passionate about working for Riviera.”
Max Wright, a student at AB Paterson College on the Gold Coast, was impressed by the large scale of operations at Riviera.
“It was amazing to see the size of the property and the various stages of the building process of Riviera motor yachts,” he said. “It is great to see an Australian company manufacture and export to a large market around the world.”
Students wishing to be considered for next year’s intake will be offered a week of work experience during the September school holidays. From this on-the-job training, the top-seeded students will be invited to apply for a Riviera apprenticeship program commencing in January 2021.
Riviera employs about 80 apprentices and each year accepts about 20 new apprentices to its program.
Currently Riviera is actively seeking applications for apprenticeship in the fields of composite technicians, lamination and boat building.
To enquire of apply, go to Career Opportunities page on our website.