Kane Piper (employer of Kyle)
Team Moto (formerly Canberra Motorcycles Centre)
Revving up Kyle’s career
When Frank from Ticket to Work approached Kane Piper about taking on a student with disability for work experience, he saw an opportunity to give back to the community. Kane is the sales manager at Canberra Motorcycles Centre.
Kane explains “I didn’t have a good time at school, my ability to sit in a classroom is not fantastic, I thought, there’s got to be a better way”. Giving a student an option to gain work experiences ‘outside the classroom’ whilst at school was part of Kane’s motivation for taking on Kyle, a 17 year old student with Autism to do work experience at the motorcycle shop.
Kyle comes into the shop 1 day per week and works with the yards person, moving motorcycles, setting up displays, cleaning up the yard and doing deliveries. It’s early days, only 3 weeks in but Kane says that it is going well. “When Kyle came in for the interview he was shy, when we sat across the desk from each other, I did have concerns that he was going to be too timid. But on that first day he started he was a different guy, he was confident, shaking everyone’s hand.” Kane says.
Frank from Ticket to Work prepared Kane and the motorcycle shop well before the work experience placement begun. No new policies or procedures were required.
Kane says “I run a sales team of about 6 males aged between 21 - 35, who are super confident, a bit ego driven and loud. My original concern was that it could be intimidating to come into. I had to talk to my boys and tell them about Kyle. I have seen how they have relaxed round him, it’s been interesting to see their humanity with him, I can already see them change”.
Canberra Motorcycles shop has been around for around for about 30 years. Kane says “we are a big small business in Canberra, I think it is important to show that we are part of Canberra community and we are trying to give back in a small way”. He also says that he would recommend other businesses to take on work experience students with a disability. He says “It is great if you’ve got someone like Frank who can have those initial conversations, see the fit in the business and provide support. I recommend it, if employers can find space in their business to give someone an opportunity”.
While there is not currently a casual paid role for Kyle whilst he’s still at school, Kane is impressed with his work and would recommend him for jobs in the future and also act as a referee. Kane is more than happy to take on more students with disability for work experience at the shop in future.
Kane says a highlight of working with Kyle is that “He is here 10 minutes early every day, which is what I look for in an employee. That brings a little bit of a smile to my face.”