High five for Riviera graduates

It was a ‘high five' moment for Craig Folker and Matthew Kloot who graduated from Riviera's apprentice program this month.

The pair started their careers as school-based apprentices and after dedicating four years to the program, they look forward to their first pay slip as qualified tradesmen.

Riviera training manager Rob Bright said it was great to see them graduate.

He said they were motivated, inspirational and had a great attitude toward work.

"Riviera recognise the value of investing in training our employees and as the economic downturn leaves us we will be looking to revitalise our showcase training program."

He said the training program was a huge investment, which had produced hundreds of highly skilled tradesmen with nationally recognised qualifications since the program's inception in 1997. The school based apprentice program started in 1997 but Riviera took on its first apprentice in 1988.

Matthew Kloot, 21, now a qualified boat builder, said the highlight of his apprenticeship was going to the Sydney Boat Show.

He said it was a great team building experience and gave apprentices an insight into other aspects of the marine industry.

"It was like having a different job standing on the back of the boats, talking to the owners and people who come onto the boats - it was like being a dealer," he said.

"It opened my eyes to another side of the business, it was awesome."

Matthew aspires to complete his certificate four in management to enable him to move forward in the boating industry and eventually become a shed manager.

Craig Folker, 20, now a qualified electrician, said he had gained a wealth of knowledge and experience through the program.

"It certainly provided a very solid foundation in skills and knowledge but I am a true believer that you never stop learning," he said.

"I am very passionate about my work at Riviera and that is mainly because I am passionate about the boating industry.

"I spend every weekend out on the water. I have a boat and a jet-ski so I do a lot of fishing and jet-skiing.

"Because I have been involved with other boats I recognise that the product we make is very high quality and therefore I am very proud to work at Riviera."

Rob Bright said, "Craig Folker is a great young lad, he has been nominated for apprentice of the year in the Queensland Training Awards."

State finalists for the Queensland Training Awards will be announced at the South Brisbane and Gold Coast Region presentation at Dreamworld on July 24. The national final will be held in November.

Craig was a finalist in 2005 Queensland Training Awards and in 2006 he received the Prime Minister's award for skills excellence.

"I am very proud that I was selected (for this year's Queensland Training Awards), I feel honoured and that my hard work has paid off," he said.




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Click to enlarge image: High five for graduates Matthew Kloot and Craig Folker

High five for graduates Matthew Kloot and Craig Folker

Team work Matthew Kloot and Craig Folker work on a Riviera

Team work Matthew Kloot and Craig Folker work on a Riviera