A bike mechanic’s journey with Good Cycles in the Youth Employment Program

Jason wandered into our Geelong bike shop as a wide eyed customer not knowing that Good Cycles was a social enterprise. Now he’s working with us, learning on the job and setting goals for his job of the future.

(Jason is not the real name of this Youth Employment Program participant, as they have chosen to remain anonymous.)

As an avid road cyclist, our YEP staff member always appreciated the knowledge and welcoming environment the team at Geelong provided, and quickly built a rapport with JP and the Geelong team. He really wanted a job with Good Cycles, but at the time there was nothing on offer.

Jason was new to Geelong, after moving out of home for the first time from regional Victoria. He quickly found himself in the pressure cooker of young adulthood, stuck in a work environment that wasn’t inclusive and lacked a positive work culture.

J.P., our Bike Shop Manager at Geelong, reached out and offered an opportunity to work as a trainee mechanic and retail assistant, which Jason didn’t pass up.

At first, Jason wasn’t a part of our Youth Employment Program (YEP) but as JP listened and learned more about his new employee, he approached Jason to see if he’d be keen to have a chat with one of our Youth Coaches, Leesa.

Good Cycles welcomed him into the program. Leesa now sees Jason on a regular basis to set personal goals and study goals, so that he can find long term employment in a job of the future. One of his goals is to go back to university.

"Jason recently set a goal to find a university course in Environmental Sciences and to start planning a move to Melbourne to broaden study and job opportunities in that field."
Youth Coach
Since March 2023, our YEP participant has been steadily achieving the goals he sets out for himself. Interpersonal skills are what his manager JP wants to instill in the young bike mechanic and the team at Little Malop Street:

“At our bike shop, I like to think we uplift, encourage and educate… it’s all about creating a positive work environment and to give the confidence to ‘talk shop’ for hours on end.” ~ JP

At first, Jason didn’t think he was eligible for the Youth Employment Program. He gradually took the time to listen and gather a deeper understanding of the challenges that he and other young people face. Our YEP participant went in with an open mind and is now reaping the rewards of the program.

Our YEP staff member loves his job and has been working at Good Cycles’ Geelong bike shop for several months. In that time frame, he has expanded his bike mechanic knowledge and says the positive, people-focused work culture motivates him.

The Youth Employment Program provides coaching for young people to overcome employment challenges through one-on-one training sessions and on-the-job training. It’s designed to reduce barriers to employment by offering:

  • Real jobs to people aged 18-29
  • A steady income
  • Tailored training and personal development