Buzzbike has created a training programme to put employees through bike mechanics apprenticeships, aiming to fill the demand for bike mechanics following a boom year for cycling.
The programme, which launched in 2021, aims to educate a select group of talented school leavers who might otherwise find it difficult to find employment on how to service and maintain bikes.
The Bike Lab Academy is backed by the Government. Places for 2021 have been filled but applications for next year’s intake open in January 2022.
Andrew Nunn, COO and co-founder, said: “We are thrilled to be offering this opportunity, as more people move towards greener ways of living, and as cycle lanes and pedestrianised areas continue to pop up across London, more bikes on the road are causing a greater demand for mechanics.
“Through the Bike Lab Academy, we’ve been able to take matters into our own hands, providing high-quality training at a grassroots level and creating a new generation of mechanics.”
Buzzbike recorded a 440% surge in sales from February to May 2020, peaking after the UK Government announced a £2 billion package for cycling to relieve pressures on public transport in early May.
After 18 months of training, apprentices leave with an apprenticeship qualification and internationally recognised Cytech qualifications, assessed through Activate Cycle Academy, as well as real-world workshop experience. The Bike Lab apprentices are also paid an hourly wage. Should they wish, Bike Lab Academy graduates will also be able to remain within the company after graduation.
Ede Harrison, head bike professor said: “Our aim with this programme is to not only provide our Bike Lab apprentices with the practical skills for a successful career as a mechanic but also helps to build confidence in themselves and their abilities- a foundation that will serve them far beyond the world of work.
“Our first year’s intake has already demonstrated some impressive and quick learning. We’re so pleased to be training the next generation of bike mechanics as they will be at the forefront of supporting the move towards greater levels of urban mobility in our cities.”
Henry, one of Buzzbike’s current apprentices, said: “Since working with Buzzbike my skills have really developed from just having general bike knowledge to maintaining bikes at home and giving friends a helping hand.
“Now I am able to fully strip and rebuild custom bikes and start my journey of becoming a Cytech qualified bike mechanic. It has been a great opportunity to push myself to the next level and to experience the level of skill and dedication that comes with being a bike mechanic.”