Riviera apprentice living the dream

Riviera apprentice living the dream

Coomera, Queensland, Australia: “Not many people ever get to step foot on a multi-million dollar motor yacht, let alone have the privilege of helping every day to create the largest and most luxurious Riviera ever.”

It’s these words that perhaps best sum up the genuine appreciation of 22-year-old Bede Haami as he celebrates the completion of his boat-building apprenticeship.

Now a member of the highly-skilled and specialist team creating the 77 Enclosed Flybridge, Bede enjoys exposure to the full spectrum of the build process – from mould-preparation and hull lamination right through to the installation of technology and the extensive pre-delivery quality control checks that are hallmarks of Riviera’s built-to-last philosophy.

As the first apprentice to graduate since Riviera returned to private ownership under chairman Rodney Longhurst in 2012, Bede says he’s extremely fortunate to have joined a company so committed to ‘excellence’ in every endeavour.

“I started with Riviera as a work experience student and was lucky enough to be offered an apprenticeship a few weeks after my placement ended,” he said. “I must admit that, at the time, I didn’t know too much about boats but it’s amazing how many trades you get exposure to when you’re boat-building.

“I’m extremely lucky to have some very skilled mentors who really know the craft.”

The first Riviera upon which Bede worked was a 5800 Sport Yacht in the early lamination stage of production, and he has since spent a day on the water aboard this stylish and sophisticated yacht with his family after winning a company Christmas prize, and he admits that this opportunity gave him a new appreciation of the boating lifestyle.

“Mum and Dad had never been on a boat so big – they just couldn’t believe they were sitting inside such a luxurious yacht – they kept saying it was like a floating palace,” Bede said.

“It’s easy to see why people get hooked on Riviera.”

Bede celebrated his graduation with his Mum, Debi, and a proud delegation from the Riviera team at a special lunch at the Riviera Motor Yacht Club restaurant and bar overlooking the beautiful line-up of magnificent motor yachts on the Riviera Marina.

He said the best part about his apprenticeship with Riviera was gaining a good insight into the knowledge and skills behind the yacht-building craft.

“I work with some very skilled and very experienced people who are so willing to share what they know and help you grow in the trade,” said Bede. “And I also get to see the finished results – the beautiful boats on the water just before delivery.

“That’s a pretty proud moment … to realise that I have helped this very talented team build another world-class Riviera.”

Next on Bede’s career goal checklist is to undertake a business management course so he can get an even better understanding of how Australia’s 2015 Marine Industry Exporter of the Year continues to grow its competiveness on the world stage.

“I highly recommend the Riviera apprenticeship program,” says Bede. “It gives you a great sense of achievement building a Riviera from start to finish, and the support we receive along the way is second-to-none.”

If you would like more information on careers at Riviera Australia, please click here >>

Training for the future: Riviera’s commitment to training is unparalleled in the Australian marine industry, with almost 40 people undertaking apprenticeships at the world-class facility at Coomera on Australia’s Gold Coast. They include indentured apprentices, mature-aged apprentices and school-based apprentices. The Riviera facility is also home the Queensland Institute of TAFE’s Marine Training Centre, where 100 students train to become the boat-builders and innovators of tomorrow.

If you would like to view a video about the Queensland institute of TAFE’s Marine Training Centre, please click here >>