SCHOOL leaver turned qualified bike mechanic, Lewis Dennett (18) from Woodthorpe, has landed a full-time position at bike shop J.E. James Cycles, after completing a Government-funded apprenticeship aimed at helping people get into work, education and training.
Having struggled with full-time education and leaving school at 16, Lewis is now a fully-qualified CyTech Level 2 bike mechanic, thanks to the experience and skills he gained.
Lewis first joined a two-year Vocational Skills Programme at Sheffield’s ReCycle Bikes aged 14, through a local education authority contract while he was still at school. From initially attending one or two days a week, upon reaching 16, Lewis was offered the opportunity to undertake a full-time apprenticeship at the store thanks to funding from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund’s CycleBoost programme.
He quickly became a valued member of the CycleBoost team, not only in the workshop but also working at Dr. Bike clinics and at the Bike Kitchen, learning new vocational and customer service skills while interacting with the general public.
Keen to learn more, in addition to his five day a week apprenticeship, Lewis took a Sunday job at J.E. James Cycles (Chesterfield branch) which allowed him to work in a more commercial environment and on higher-end bikes. And on completion of his apprenticeship, he was delighted to be offered a full-time position at J.E. James Cycles in Sheffield, earlier this month.
Lewis said: “CycleBoost’s apprenticeship programme and the support from the team at ReCycle Bikes has helped me to get the training and skills I needed to qualify as a mechanic. I knew when I was at school I wanted to do this, I committed to the programme, and the hard work was worth it. Now I’m working full time in a job that I only dreamt of before. I’m excited about my future at J.E James.”
Gavin Holliday, J.E. James Cycles Store Manager, said: “Lewis came into the store looking for a mechanic job and as it happened we had a position available. I invited Lewis to come for an interview where he demonstrated a real passion for bikes and cycling and we offered him a job on a trial basis. Lewis demonstrated a natural aptitude for mechanics and thrived in the workshop environment, his quality of work is of a high standard. We were really impressed and offered him a full-time job.
Angela Walker, CycleBoost Project Manager, ReCycle Bikes, said: “He's a sorely-missed asset to our organisation, but it's great to see that all his hard work and commitment has paid off and enabled him to gain full-time employment by a well-respected local employer like James's.”
CycleBoost is offered through the local Inmotion! partnership, working to help boost South Yorkshire’s local economy and get people back to work, education and training, as well as improving travel options for employees of organisations and businesses across South Yorkshire.
To find out how your organisation or business could benefit, contact the Inmotion! team. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit inmotion.co.uk