A scheme to help disadvantaged Londoners back into work has received a second year of funding from Barclays and that is a good thing in my opinion. Conceived by award winning social enterprise Bikeworks, the training and employment programme ‘Cycle into Work’ uses cycling to help disadvantaged young people gain key skills. The ultimate aim for the programme is for its graduates to move towards playing a full role in society and achieving economic independence. This is the true merits of the bicycle and for Bikeworks to have such funding is important (and it has to come from somewhere).
The new recruits will be given the opportunity to gain Level 1 and Level 2 City & Guilds qualification in Cycle Mechanics and Customer Service while also gaining vital work experience. Successful graduates will be introduced to employers in the cycling industry and supported into employment and a hearty big luck to them!
The ‘Cycle into Work’ programme really helps young people improve their chances in life. One of the graduates who benefited from the first year of Barclays support is 20 year old Shenol Shaddouh. Shenol left school at 13 and became a career criminal with convictions including bicycle theft. After time in prison, he was assigned a resettlement broker who found and placed him in the ‘Cycle into Work’ programme. Halfway through a Level two mechanics course at Tower Hamlets College he gained employment at Bikeworks. To see rehabilitation of offenders happen in such a way really gives me hope. We must all support this and let it grow. More info on Bikeworks here.