Riviera Announces 2023 Apprentice of the Year Winners

Australia’s premium luxury motor yacht builder has proudly announced the outstanding achievements of its apprentices in the 2023 Riviera Apprentice of the Year Awards.

With a highly skilled team of over 900, including more than 100 talented apprentices, Riviera’s commitment to nurturing the master craftspeople of tomorrow underscores its pivotal role in shaping the future of Australia’s marine industry.

The awards ceremony, held as part of the end-of-year celebration at the Riviera facility and attended by the entire Riviera team, commemorated four extraordinary apprentices who demonstrated qualities including communication skills, professional growth, and a proactive attitude in their respective trades.

The winners of the 2023 Riviera Apprentice of the Year Awards are:

Caden Fletcher (Electrical – Second Year)
Samuel Gross (Engineering – Second Year)
Zidane Farkas (Composite Tech – Third Year)
Connor Baruksopulo (Timber & Composites Machining – Second Year)

Expressing gratitude and praise for the team of apprentices, Riviera Apprentice and Training Manager, Keira Badke highlighted their crucial role in the marine industry’s future. She reaffirmed Riviera’s commitment to investing in the training and life skills education of apprentices, along with technology, plant and machinery, to maintain its position as one of the world’s leading boat builders.

“Our outstanding team provides unparalleled support to our apprentices, with over 90 percent successfully transitioning into significant roles at Riviera.
Our philosophy is that to build world-class motor yachts, we must inspire world-class craftspeople,” said Mrs Badke.

Nicknamed ‘the machine’ for his unwavering focus, Samuel Gross’s exceptional work ethic secured him an award this year. Reflecting on his achievement, Samuel shared, “I worked hard throughout the year, so it feels awesome to have earned this recognition.”

Caden Fletcher, acknowledged for his dedication and attention to detail, expressed enthusiasm for Riviera’s supportive apprenticeship program, emphasising the nurturing atmosphere and opportunities available, stating, “We’ve touched on everything: all sorts of electrical work. I’ve been put with a great crew, and have learnt so much.”

Zidane Farkas, describing Riviera as a close-knit family, expressed pride in being honoured alongside a select group of winners. Highlighting the immense support he had received, Zidane noted, “Everyone is willing to guide you, all the managers — they are always happy to help.”

Connor Baruksopulo, a two-time award recipient, credited the supportive environment at Riviera for his success. “It is reassuring to know that the work I am putting in is noticed and drives me to push myself harder than the year before,” Connor said.

In her address to the team, Apprentice and Training Manager, Keira Badke emphasised, “Whether you are in your first year or fourth, each is a stepping stone towards greater heights. We build internationally acclaimed luxury motor yachts, so we need our people to be the very best they can be.”

Riviera welcomes applications from individuals aspiring to join its apprenticeship program for both school-based and mature-age apprenticeships who desire to contribute to the creation of world-class luxury motor yachts.

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