BUSY At Work, a leading Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider, were privileged in supporting Riviera, Australia’s premium luxury motor yacht builder, to sign up 52 new apprentices that will support future skills needs for the industry.
On the annual sign-up day, held 12th January, Riviera also launched their new Riviera Academy of Excellence, a state-of-the-art training facility within Riviera’s 16.8-hectare Gold Coast facility. It will allow the motor yacht builder to train many of their 150 apprentices currently onsite across 10 individual trades, including composite technology, marine craft construction, engineering fabrication and diesel fitting.
Amongst the 52 bright new apprentices welcomed, 27 are school based and 25 are full time apprentices. Riviera is an employer that encourages diversity and of the 52 apprentices signed into their apprenticeships by BUSY At Work, 12 of the apprentices were females keen to commence a trade career.
It was the largest training intake in the company’s history of annual sign-ups and the aspiring boat builders appeared eager to launch their new career paths!
“It’s always an exciting day for these young apprentices and their proud families,” said Keira Badke, Riviera Apprentice and Training Manager.
“Our holistic training program offers strong support for our apprentices where we teach their chosen trade skills alongside coaching life skills to help nurture world class people that will help build our world class motor yachts.
“It’s often their first real working day, so naturally, they’re eager to commence learning their trade and ultimately, begin to help us build our beautiful motor yachts.”
Twins Chevy and Jake Woodley were amongst the 52 apprentices signed up on the day as aspiring builders of luxury motor yachts.
One of the 12 females signed up on the day, 17-year-old Chevy was the first of the twins to show an interest in the boating industry.
“Let the record show I was first,” she laughs.
“I went along to a career’s night at Riviera and was blown away by what I could do there, so signed up, almost on the spot.
Supported to apply for the apprenticeship by BUSY At Work’s Women in Trades Officer, Kate Shapiro, Chevy was grateful for the extra help provided with her resume and cover letter.
“Kate spent around two hours helping me with my cover letter and resume, which was really helpful in getting the position.
“I love the people here and the way the apprenticeship program is run. This year I am doing a school-based apprenticeship in Marine Craft Construction for my last year at school and I will then go full time in 2025.
“I’m looking forward to proving myself as a tradesperson, not just a female in what is often a male dominated industry.”
It seems Chevy is already proving herself as she has been asked to be a team leader this year for the other 11 females who have recently commenced.
Jake was initially doing a carpentry apprenticeship when his sister went along to the careers night and didn’t need a lot of convincing to join her.
“I’d never heard of anything marine-based trades before she had done a week of work experience here. She came home cheering about how good it was so I thought I’d give it a crack too! I came here a couple of weeks later and did a week of work experience and loved it.
“The community here is great, everyone you walk past, even if they don’t know you, will say hello. As a first-year apprentice, you are treated well, it’s amazing! I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and becoming the best boat builder I can be.”
Chevy and Jake have ambitions to one day start a family business and the apprenticeship training and experience gained at Riviera will be instrumental in supporting their goals.
Riviera has now trained over 400 apprentices in the southeast and BUSY At Work has been working alongside, supporting the leading marine industry company with their apprenticeship needs.
Cassandra Horan, General Manager of Australian Apprenticeship Support Network services at BUSY At Work, said, “To have an opportunity to work for Australia’s leading, luxury yacht builder is an amazing opportunity for these apprentices. They have a range of qualifications here, everything from French polishing, right through to heavy diesel mechanics. It really is a great place to start a career — they’ve got heaps of tradespeople who started their apprenticeships here at Riviera and they’re still here twenty-five years later!
“Most of the qualifications that are being signed up today are priority list qualifications, where Australian industry is experiencing skills shortages. For Riviera, this means a lot for future-proofing their workforce and skills needs.”
BUSY At Work will continue the support for apprentices through mentoring programs, including offering support for female apprentices with any unique challenges they may face in a traditionally male-dominated sector, through the BUSY Sisters mentoring program.
Cassandra further stated, “After the sign up here today it doesn’t stop there! We will have mentoring teams out here, probably weekly, to support apprentices and really become part of Riviera’s workplace culture so apprentices know that they have someone they can lean on if they need extra support during their apprenticeship.
“This is a great partnership for BUSY and Riviera, both leading organisations that try to give back to community on the Gold Coast. We’re looking forward to continuing the successful partnership well into the future.”
Find out more about BUSY At Work’s Australian Apprenticeship Support Network services.
L-R: On the sign-up day, Keira Badke, Riviera Apprentice and Training Manager with Chevy, Jake and Cassandra Horan, General Manager of AASN BUSY At Work.