Velotech Cycling will restart training of cycle mechanics at its Stoke-on-Trent headquarters from today, 27th July.
“We are are not rushing into this,” said MD and principal trainer Graeme Freestone King. “It’s probably something that the public and trade are tired of hearing – but we are putting candidate and staff health right at the top of our agenda.
“I felt I had to be 110% confident that we could deliver the standard of training and the interactivity that I think is central to our training courses, in a way that minimises risk to our candidates at to ourselves. If I couldn’t be sure of that, I didn’t want to open. Likewise, if the risk factors escalate, as we are seeing in some areas of the country now, we will have no hesitation in shutting down again.”
Velotech Cycling has run various pilots over the last four weeks, added Freestone King, and has been delivering some on-site training on a one-to-one basis with a couple of UK OEMs. It has also conducted a site visit and workshop facilities check, followed by a set of training sessions with another business, set to be its 43rd delivery partner in the UK, within the last few days.
Both of those first steps have proved to be workable, so Velotech Cycling has now committed to run the first courses from Stoke-on-Trent starting on 27th July. “We are running the first one with just two candidates, rather than our usual maximum ratio of five candidates to one instructor, to see how social distancing works in practical terms in our own space,” said Freestone King.
“We decided not to be rushed into this as a matter of political, or any other kind, of expediency. At Velotech, we’ve been lucky – we’ve been shielded from some of the worst effects of the CV crisis by our warranty and servicing work for Campagnolo customers which we have been able to carry on via postal and carrier deliveries – but the bulk of our turnover is obviously dependant on training, so the CV situation certainly hasn’t been without very significant impact. However, I’d rather be a couple of weeks later in opening up – and able to do it in confidence that we are doing so in a fashion as safe in the context of COVID-19 as we can make it – than be held responsible for any spread of this pernicious infection.
“Demand is unprecedented at the moment – and, partly to compensate for the lower student to trainer ratio – but just as much, as a result of the number of enquiries we are receiving – we have increased the number of training sessions we are running. Even so, we are booking considerably further ahead than we’ve ever had to book before. We have some “standby” slots for would-be candidates who can be flexible on attendance at short notice, so anyone looking to learn new skills, hone existing ones or looking for certification, should contact us via email or phone to discuss the possibilities.”
Read the July edition of BikeBiz below: