Our City & Guilds Level 1 cycle mechanics course is open to anyone who wants to learn about bike mechanics. If you’re seeking employment, or on a low income it’s free. Bryan (name changed) came on the course and thrived. In fact, he loved it so much he went on to do Level 2! Here’s what he had to say about his journey:
“I was looking for work and saw the City & Guilds course advertised at the Job Centre. I had been riding mountain bikes since I was knee high to a grasshopper and I wanted to build up my skills – so I could fix my bikes when something went wrong. In the longer-term I was thinking about getting a job in the bike industry so I thought this would be a good place to start. Thanks to funding from Weston College, the course was offered free to jobseekers so I jumped at the chance.
I already knew a little bit about fixing bikes: I was able to patch up my mountain bikes enough to get them home when something went wrong - but I couldn’t take it much further than that. In particular, I didn’t know much about gears so I really wanted to get my head round that.
"For me it was important to be proficient and feel really confident I was doing everything right".
The course was very informative and easy to understand. There were goals and targets we had to meet, but it didn’t feel pressured or uptight. You had the freedom to control your learning, ask lots of questions and also make mistakes! It was nice to be able to help some people on the course with a few things too.
Doing the gears was great: I actually found out I’d been doing it wrong up until then, but within 10 minutes of the tutor explaining it, I was able to understand what all the different screws were for – and then take the mechanism apart and put it back together completely. That was really satisfying.
"It was a great sense of achievement to get that certificate and go home and put my skills to use!"
Once I’d got my Level 1 I wanted to keep on learning – I was especially interested in wheel building, which is part of the Level 2 course. Getting my Level 1 definitely gave me the confidence and skills to be able to push on and enrol on the Level 2 course with Life Cycle.
I think the Level 1 course is well worth doing for anybody with an interest in fixing bikes. Even if you’re just using your bike for a short commute: It thoroughly covers everything you need to maintain your bike in good working condition.
For me, it’s enabled me to properly maintain my mountain bikes – if there’s an issue I can sort it out myself and be back out riding again within a couple of days, which I could never do before.
At the moment I’m a full-time carer, but in the future when I’m in a more secure position I want to start up a paint spraying business: I used to do it years ago and I used to do bikes. With my new skills I’ll be able to take bikes apart, respray them, and then put them back together so they’re in even better condition than when they came to me. That will offer proper peace of mind to my customers and give me a real edge over competitors! It’s a win-win for me!"