London-based social enterprise business Bikeworks appears to be going from strength having just announced corporate sponsorship for its Cycle into Work initiative.
Bikeworks has received funding from Barclays Bank to continue its good work in helping people get work in the cycling sector by teaching them bike making and maintenance skills and helping them find eventual employment.
Cycle into Work is a community programme that partners with homeless hostels and shelters in London to reach vulnerable young people, offering them bicycle building and maintenance courses. After completing Bikeworks’ Build a Bike course, students keep the bikes that they built, gaining access to an affordable mode of transport.
Barclays’ backing will allow many more students to be enrolled on the course that will now have a ceiling of 150 participants. Bikeworks is targeting for at least 50% of its Build a Bike graduates to secure employment opportunities following Barclays’ investment.
Also a total of 50 graduates from the Build a Bike course will be offered the opportunity to gain a Cycle Mechanics and Customer Service qualification from the City and Guilds of London Institute, an organisation providing vocational training. The qualification includes on-the-job training from Bikeworks at its training centres in Bethnal Green and Ladbroke Grove, London.
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 support is more essential than ever and we know that the programme makes a real difference to people’s lives.”
Attracting financial support from Barclays has been made easier by notable award achievements. Earlier this year we reported Bikeworks won the Best Social Enterprise at the London Business Awards. It has since added a national award with Bikeworks being named Best Social Enterprise at the PWC Private Business Awards 2011in September.
The company has also recently opened new retail premises in Bethnal Green, London, which is open seven days a week to the public. An expanded range of bikes and services are available there as well as of course cycle training for adults. The premises house a new mechanical training centre for all Bikeworks courses.