The Happiness Cycle is bringing together students all over Australia, to build their very own bikes. Look a little deeper and you find that for some participants, the program is also about building a better future.

Year 10 student Corey Ridge is the perfect example of a high school student who gets more than merely a new bike. He’ll be taking home something that will hopefully help him chart a brighter course in the competitive South Australian job market both in the near future and beyond.

As a participant in the L.E.T. program - that’s Learn, Earn, Turn - Corey is one of 20 teenagers selected to receive vocational training by the Happiness Cycle team. This involves four hours of training in bike mechanics and event logistics to deliver the Happiness Cycle to a further 280 local teenagers of the Playford City Council area in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

To understand why this opportunity is a blessing for those 20 teenagers, you need to understand a little about their part of the world. The automotive industry used to employ a great many of the area’s workers, but with the decline of the industry and manufacturing sector overall, the job market has become more competitive than ever. Anything a young job seeker can do to gain an advantage when looking for work is a welcome development.

With his participation in L.E.T., Corey will take home a certificate of participation that will be right up front in his resumé to show potential employers that he’s received training in, and developed, leadership and teamwork skills.

Corey said he hopes to earn trade qualifications as a fitter and turner, like his dad before him. In the meantime, he thought the best part of his participation in the L.E.T program was the training he received in handling people and how to manage their needs.

“I think employers value leadership skills - they can see I’m good at working with people,” Corey said.