Barclays is investing in commmunity programme ‘Cycle into Work’ which aims to give disadvantaged Londoners the opportunity to find employment. The scheme, conceived and developed by London-based social enterprise Bikeworks, uses the power of cycling to help homeless people develop key skills to secure a job.
‘Cycle into Work’ enables the people graduating from the programme to have a fulfilling career in the growing cycling industry which improves the environmental, social and economic well being of Londoners. It provides opportunities for social interaction, working as a team and improving confidence and communication skills.
Financial, volunteering and mentoring support from Barclays and its employees will see the scheme expanded and an increase in the number of disadvantaged individuals who are able to improve their job prospects.
Bikeworks works directly with homeless hostel and shelters in London and Barclays support will take the ‘Build a Bike’ maintenance courses to 150 young disadvantaged people. This will teach them key technical skills, and once completed, allows students to keep the bikes they’ve built, therefore providing access to an affordable mode of transport.
‘Build a Bike’ is a key stepping stone to the City & Guilds qualification stage ‘Cycle into Work’. It establishes if candidates have the skills and desire to take their training to the next level. Fifty individuals will be given the opportunity to gain a qualification in Cycle Mechanics and Customer Service which is run as on-the-job training at Bikeworks training centres in Bethnal Green and Ladbroke Grove, London. A target has been set for at least 50% of graduates to secure employment opportunities.
Marcus Agius, Group Chairman, Barclays said: “Barclays latest community investment programme ‘Cycle into Work’ is a natural fit and extension of our London cycle sponsorships – Barclays Cycle Hire and Barclays Cycle Superhighways. We are particularly keen to help young people develop the skills they need to manage their finances effectively, and help them build the necessary literacy, numeracy and employability skills to play a full role in society.”
Dave Miller, co-founder of Bikeworks said, “Bikeworks is delighted to have secured the support of Barclays to help us expand and improve ‘cycle into work’. In the current climate this kind of work is more essential than ever and we know that the programme makes a real difference to people’s lives. We expect to help many hundreds of individuals whilst providing the skilled workforce the cycling industry needs.”