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Cytech training to help Go Outdoors boost number of cycle mechanics by offering apprenticeships to store staff.

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

Go Outdoors, which operates 75 stores across the UK, has announced an apprenticeship scheme involving Cytech training with the aim of addressing what it terms a nationwide shortage of bicycle mechanics in England.

Cycle mechanic

Run in partnership with Cytech partner Activate Cycle Academy the new work-based scheme will be open to staff working in Go Outdoors branches in England.

It will train people to Level 2 Apprenticeship in Bicycle Mechanics, with successful participants given Cytech training as well as a certificate widely recognised throughout the industry on completion of their training as a “master technician” bike mechanic.

Training will be a combination of online, mentored and technical learning, with participants recruited or nominated by their branch managers, says the retailer, which has already trained 200 staff internally but says its new programme will “ enhance customers’ in-store experience whilst also creating a talent pipeline of highly skilled bike technicians.”

Jonny Lodge, the company’s National Sales and Operations Manager for Cycling said:

“The decision to introduce a cycling apprenticeship into GO Outdoors has come from a place of passion and experience, with acknowledgement that this offers a chance to build on an already successful recipe for UK cycling retail.

“Importantly, it supports our aims to continuously invest in and develop our colleagues, whilst addressing the national bike mechanic shortage by bringing more skilled technicians to the industry.

“We are thrilled to be working with Activate and recognise them as a market-leading provider that is supporting the industry with a fantastic learning framework.”

Ultimately, the company aims to have one master mechanic in each of its stores within the next two or three years.

Matt Grant, Cycles Sales and Marketing Manager at Activate Cycle Academy added:

“We are delighted to partner with one of the country’s leading retail groups with this apprenticeship programme.

"This collaboration shows how committed Go Outdoors is with supporting their colleagues with continued learning, development, and upskilling. By choosing our training programme, Go Outdoors are ensuring their cycle technicians receive the very best industry training and qualifications available to further enhance their career within the greater retail group.”

Factors behind the national shortage of qualified cycle mechanics include low levels of pay, long hours, a perception among some that their work is little valued, and the impact of the ending of free movement of workers from the EU post-Brexit.

With the cost-of-living crisis biting, there is also evidence that some bike owners are also increasingly undertaking their own maintenance – despite in some cases not having the know-how, the proper tools, or access to suitable parts or technical manuals to help them.

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