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Riviera apprentices head for the Queensland bush to expand their horizons

A group of Riviera apprentices climb aboard four 12-seater minivans for the three-hour journey from the company’s Coomera headquarters to Gordon Country for a team-building exercise.

Riviera has packed its apprentices off to the bush for a three-day team-building exercise.

The apprentices climbed aboard four 12-seater minivans for the three-hour journey from the company’s Coomera headquarters to Gordon Country, located on the Darling Downs in the Goomburra Valley.

Gordon Country is a family-owned eco-tourism and farming property that prides itself on offering “very Australian” experiences including camping, glamping, cabin and caravan stays in pristine bushland bordering the Great Dividing Range in southeast Queensland, in the World Heritage listed Main Range National Park.

The apprentices competed against each other in a series of challenges ranging from sponge races to the cornhole toss, and an Amazing Race.

“The camp was an amazing experience for me. It was a lesson in resilience. I’ve come back to work more confident about meeting new people. The camp helped me get out of my comfort zone.” Chloe Carroll

Chloe Carroll, 18, was one of the apprentices who attended the camp. Chloe, who moved from Toowoomba to the Gold Coast after finishing school last year, started a Cert III in Engineering – diesel fitting at Riviera in February.

“The camp was an amazing experience for me,’’ she said. “It was a lesson in resilience. I’ve come back to work more confident about meeting new people. The camp helped me get out of my comfort zone. I’m loving my time here at Riviera. Coming from a rural area like Toowoomba I had nothing to do with boats growing up.’’

Nathan Cripps, who is working towards completing a Cert III in Electrotechnology, said it was great to get away from the Coomera facility and to get to know fellow apprentices in a completely different environment.

“It was a different world. No phone reception. We hung out around the campfire chatting each night. You get to know everyone on such a personal level,’’ Nathan said. “I enjoyed all the challenges, but for me the best thing we did was the big hike through the rainforest. The scenery – and waterfalls – were amazing.’’

Nathan, who found out about apprenticeships at Riviera through his dad who is a Gold Coast teacher, travels from Capalaba to Coomera every day for work. On good days that’s a 40-minute trip. On bad days, it is a 90-minute marathon. “I grew up around boats but working here – and seeing them come together from scratch – is fascinating.’’

“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 who will help build our world-class motor yachts.” KEIRA BADKE, RIVIERA APPRENTICE AND TRAINING MANAGER Keira Badke, Riviera apprentice and training manager

Riviera is one of Australia’s leading employers of apprentices.

In January, the company marked the launch of its new state-of-the-art training centre, The Riviera Academy of Excellence, by announcing an intake of 52 new apprentices – the biggest new employee clock-on day in the company’s history.

Over the past 30 years, Riviera has trained more than 400 tradespeople, involving partnerships with 37 schools in southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales.

The new academy is based at Riviera’s 16.8-hectare Gold Coast facility and trains more than 150 apprentices across 10 individual trades.

Keira Badke, Riviera Apprentice and Training Manager, said: “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 who will help build our world-class motor yachts.

“They really are the master craftsmen and women of the future and from their very first day with Riviera we want our apprentices to know that we will do all we can to help them be the best they can be.’’

Riviera’s owner Rodney Longhurst, a former carpenter and joinery apprentice himself, is extremely passionate about supporting the growth opportunities of his team.

“It’s immensely rewarding for me, personally, to see our apprentices develop into such accomplished mature adults and great Australians, all with world-leading boat-building skills,” he says.

“We want each-and-every person at Riviera to be the best they can be.

“So many of our senior managers and tradespeople have completed their apprenticeships here, highlighting the rewarding and long-term career pathway that we offer at Riviera.”

www.rivieraaustralia.com

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