Following the success of the South Africa-based Torq Zone Academy, Cytech is looking to expand its technical training through partnerships in seven other countries, including the likes of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA.
The Torq Zone Academy training centre is the first expansion of the Cytech-licensed network and opened in November 2014. Since then it has trained mechanics in courses ranging from Home Mechanic to Cytech three and everything in-between.
Technical one was the first course to be introduced and is currently the most popular. At the start of 2015 Technical 2 and Home Mechanic were introduced, with Technical three finally launching in summer 2015.
"We've seen unprecedented demand since we started presenting our first courses in November last year," said Graeme Stickells, MD of Torq Zone Academy. "It is now quite clear the Cytech training scheme is set to become the recognised standard and, more importantly, demanded by the cycling fraternity in South Africa much sooner than what we initially anticipated."
The firm said that Cytech South Africa has received endorsement and support from major brands and their distributors, who are encouraging their retail network to invest in the skills of their bicycle technicians, so products are built and maintained to high standards. Thanks to the support of these importers, distributors and their brands, Torq Zone Academy received contributions in the form of equipment, frames or components for training purposes.
Other Torq Zone Academy year-one highlights:
- In January 2015 the Torq Zone Academy introduced Cytech Technical training to Mike Bradley, the general manager of Cycling South Africa. Impressed with the scheme, Cycling South Africa pledged its full support to the efforts of Torq Zone Academy and its efforts to register a National Qualification.
- The following month Torq Zone introduced the ‘Adopt-a-Technician' programme, which encourages businesses or an individual to sponsor a candidate to complete a Cytech course, with the first candidates successfully completing the course in September 2015.
- As part of the exclusive licensing agreement to present Cytech Technical training in South Africa, Torq Zone Academy is required to undergo an annual Quality & Compliance Assessment by the UK-based Association of Cycle Traders (ACT). In April 2015 ACT director and founder of PJCS training in the UK Pete Cowling carried out the assessment, finding the Torq Zone facility, the training and the trainer to be up to the high standards expected of a Cytech training facility.