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    Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Gold Coast delivering world class apprenticeships at Riviera

    Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Monday, February 26, 2018

    Gold Coast delivering world class apprenticeships at Riviera

    Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman visited the TAFE Queensland Marine Training Centre at Riviera on the Gold Coast to encourage students and employers to access the Palaszczuk Government’s $5 million Trade Skills Assessment and Gap Training program.

    “This is an industry-led trade training initiative that provides a pathway for Queenslanders who already have years of experience on the job but are looking to boost their career and earn a trade qualification,” Ms Fentiman said.

    “Queenslanders with industry experience can access funding to upskill and earn a qualification in Certificate III in Marine Technology in the heart and soul of the marine industry.”

    “In a Queensland first, TAFE Queensland Gold Coast is the only provider of training for apprentices in Marine Craft Construction.

    “This partnership with Riviera gives apprentices the opportunity to earn a qualification while gaining experience at Australia’s largest luxury boat building company.”

    Ms Fentiman said the knowledge that apprentices learn by working with a company like Riviera is invaluable and sets them up for a bright future.

    “Darren Kearns, a past Riviera apprentice is a shining example of the high quality training and experience apprentices receive at Riviera, after taking out the prestigious Apprentice of the Year Award in 1997, Darren is now one of the Gold Coast’s current Marine Craft Construction teachers,” Ms Scanlon said.

    The Marine Training Centre have teachers who are real world professionals like Lennie Signorini, who started out working as an apprentice on powerboats and with his experience he was able to use his skills to travel overseas.

    Mr Signorini said he can’t believe how fortunate he has been and how much he has learnt over the years.

    “My love for the marine industry has taken me around the world and bought me back home again. I have worked hard and have been lucky enough to work on some amazing Formula 1 teams and I feel very honoured to be able to impart that knowledge with the next generation of boat mechanics,” Mr Signorini said.

    Not only does Lennie use his experience to teach our young apprentices, but at the request of the Sheikh of Dubai, Lennie maintains the engines of Dubai’s F1 Powerboat Racing team.

    Ms Fentiman said TAFE are providing world-class education and giving Queenslanders the experience and skills they need to get a job and build a career.

    “We need to see apprenticeships like these valued as highly as university qualifications and I applaud Federal Labors move to have an inquiry looking into the entire higher education system,” Ms Fentiman said.

    “We want more people in training not less.”

    “With the Federal Government’s own agencies reporting the real challenge is unlikely to be a shortage of jobs, but rather a shortage of workers appropriately skilled to fill those jobs, it is alarming that they would rip $40 million in funding from training under the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform.”

    “While the Palaszczuk Government is getting on with the job of bridging skills gaps and providing real pathways to jobs, Malcom Turnbull is walking away from a genuine funding partnership on training and placing 4,000 training places at risk state-wide, including more than 2048 trainees and apprentices in South East Queensland”.

    Applications from Pre-Qualified Suppliers for the latest round of Trade Skills Assessment and Gap Training funding close on 31 March 2018.

    For more information or a full list of priority trades supported under TSAGT and approved Pre-Qualified Suppliers, visit




    Media contact:  Inga Williams         0410 769 711