Sunday, 12 January 2014

Apprenticeship in the Bicycle Trade with Training Classes Should be Taken More Seriously

So you like to work in the bike trade and need some training or you own a bike business and your a forward thinker and would like your staff trained to the highest standard.

Knowledge of how a bike works, why it fails, how to build a wheel, diagnose brake & gear faults, deal with customers, look up parts are just some of the things that make a great bike mechanic. But it takes years of experiences to learn all aspects of bicycle repair.

You can open a bike shop with out any training and suppliers will be knocking at your door for you to sell their bikes and products. We all have to start somewhere, I here you say......... its their money and their choose.  As a mobile mechanic business, for trade insurance we are always asked what qualifications we have when getting a insurance cover/quote.

With such a wide range of bicycles on the market, a 2 week course is a good start, but this only shows you about 10% of bike repairs, with the first few days (The so called part 1) covering health & Safety and working in a shop. The rest you will learn in the bike shop, if you are lucky you will work alongside a mechanic who will share his experience with you. Learning from the practical teaching of experts however is no-doubt invaluable.

Skilled workers

In my day an apprentice would work in a shop/workshop to gain practical experience and for theory go to collage one day a week or block training of 1 week every 6 months over 3 years with assessments of work/jobs carried-out in the shop/workshop. You would be paid a small amount of money, until you gained the skill's or qualifications or your boss could see you was a hard worker. Then you could spend your money on buying tools.
This would be a long term investment for the bike shop with both shop owner and apprentice both benefiting.

Advanced training in all areas of the bicycle

This would make a commitment on both sides and a longer lasting relationship and a generation of skilled bike mechanics for the future. Cytech/ATG apprenticeship program.

Other Skilled Jobs In The Bike Trade

There is also a shortage of frame builders with the knowledge of brazing. And this is a growing industry in the UK. As of yet there is no UK qualification in bicycle frame building. In addition to these types of courses, it is advisable to complete a basic gas welding and/or tig welding course, which are often offered at local community colleges, as this will give the student a good basic knowledge of the techniques involved, and perhaps more importantly, the safety implications.

Tutor instruction
The Lane End Oasis Center is a Youth & Adult skills program

You can start to learn by reading resources online, visiting forums and sourcing books.

If you live in London Bring Your Own Bike is a DIY community bike workshop based in Copeland Park, Peckham. Learn to repair and carry out maintenance on your bike with the help of volunteer mechanics.

However, it may be possible to contact an experienced frame builder or a good bike shop and arrange some kind of work related experience.

Other jobs in the bike trade to consider:
Sales rep for trade distributors to dealers, selling parts, bikes & accessories


Train'd Up are a leading National Training Provider contracted by the Skills Funding Agency to deliver Apprenticeship services.  We are currently seeking supportive employers to help us move motivated and enthusiastic young people into employment. 
Our Apprenticeship programmes are aimed at supporting 16-18 year olds and 19-24 year olds who are looking to get their foot on the career ladder and move into employment within their chosen sectors. 
Read more...........

1 comment:

  1. This is great... I am glad your group is pushing more bike mechanic training. I see bikes as a entry point to learning engineering. In New Jersey I teach a "Shop" class. I start my students on bikes, then we move to other projects.

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