REBIKE HELPS YOU LEARN NEW SKILLS
Published at 11:08, Thursday, 24 November 2011
A CUMBRIAN social enterprise scheme which helps people gain skills and qualifications to get into work is expanding into Workington.
Bicycle recycling and serving company Rebike, which was launched in Carlisle 15 months ago, will open a branch at Clay Flatts this month thanks to funding from the Northern Rock Foundation.
The business is run by Geoff Tunstall, who has been involved in developing social enterprises for about 15 years.
Rebike takes old bikes donated by people who would otherwise throw them out and a team of staff and volunteers restore and repair them, selling them on at a reasonable price.
It takes workers from all walks of life, which could include people with learning difficulties, disabilities or mental health problems or those who have been long-term unemployed or have left school with few qualifications.
It offers them the chance to do NVQ-equivalent training courses covering bike maintenance, customer service, health and safety and other skills which can help them secure jobs in other fields.
Geoff said: “It’s about work-based training within a proper commercial environment. For young people, it can be difficult to get that work experience that employers are looking for.
“Even if they don’t want to mend bikes all their lives they can still earn the skills they need to go on into different types of jobs. We are trying to give people the confidence to move on.”
Geoff is always looking to create permanent jobs within the project, but said it was equally important that workers can come in for a few weeks or sometimes months and earn the skills and experience that employers are looking for.
He added: “There is evidence of a need for this kind of work-based training at that side of the county and we felt Workington was fairly central, so we can accommodate people from Whitehaven, Maryport and other surrounding areas.”
n Visit www.rebikecumbria.co.uk
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk