12 New Female Marine Industry Apprentices

BUSY Sisters, along with BUSY At Work, an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider, were privileged in supporting Riviera, Australia’s premium luxury motor yacht builder, to support and sign up 52 new apprentices that will provide future skills needs for the industry.

Of the 52 new apprentices, 12 females were signed into apprenticeships for a range of roles in the marine industry. All twelve women will be supported by BUSY Sisters during their apprenticeship, a mentoring program that encourages and supports women entering traditionally male-dominated trade pathways.

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.

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 who will also be mentored under the BUSY Sisters program, 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.

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.

Tenille Reilly, Women in Trades Manager for BUSY Sisters said, “Our team are excited to be taking these ladies, some of them school-based apprentices, under our wing for guidance and support as they embark on their chosen marine industry career.

“Riviera is a positive organisation which will be a fantastic grounding start for these trailblazing women – the next generation of female superstars paving the way for others!”

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.

“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.”

The twelve new apprentices who will be supported through the BUSY Sisters mentoring program with Keira Badke, Riviera Apprentice and Training Manager (third from left) and Billie-Jo Thompson, BUSY Sisters Mentor (far right).