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A new training academy for bicycle mechanics is being made available to all employers in the Australian bike industry, to help address a national shortage of high-level training.
The Bicycle Academy is now accepting applications from all employers for apprenticeships and Cytech start-up training courses set to begin from June.
The organisation will be offering courses in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane as stand alone, fee-for-service courses, as well as a Certificate III apprenticeship/traineeship program.
A schools-based Certificate II level apprenticeship is among additional courses scheduled to become available in late 2022, along with a Recognition of Prior Learning program for experienced mechanics and an accredited Certificate-level qualification for bicycle salespeople.
The Bicycle Academy was launched earlier this year by The Pedal Group, in conjunction with recruitment and training organisation Industry Graduates, after securing a licence to provide Cytech training – an internationally recognised program based in the UK – in Australia and NZ.
Since then, the academy has established four teaching facilities and has been busy training staff from Pedal Group’s 99 Bikes retail chain and its Advanced Traders wholesale business, raising their skills while finetuning courses in preparation for making them widely available.
Industry Graduates managing director Michael Murphy said the courses have been running at capacity working through a waitlist of Pedal Group apprentices.
“By June and July, we will have trained through most of this backlog and training spots will open up for other employers for both apprentices and Cytech short courses,” he said.
Interested employers can contact The Bicycle Academy at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be contacted directly by one of the academy’s enrolment managers.
Online Booking Coming Soon
Bicycle Academy manager Jasmine Jacobsen said an online booking service will soon be available to streamline processes for employers.
“We are working with Cytech to update the online booking engine, to allow people to book directly into Cytech courses,” she said.
“In the near future, employers and individuals will go to the Cytech Australia website link to book in staff.”
For apprenticeships and traineeships, employers will enrol directly with The Bicycle Academy.
“There is a more detailed enrolment process for apprenticeships and traineeships, including the various paperwork that needs to be submitted to the registered training organisation,” Jasmine said.
“We are creating a dedicated employer portal for apprenticeships and traineeships, to help make the whole process as easy as possible.
“Severe shortages of bicycle mechanics and related skilled employees have been a problem throughout the industry for some time.
“There are over 1000 bike stores and other operators in the industry who are in need of at least one qualified mechanic.
“The demand is there for more than 1000 students to begin training within the next 12 months.”
She said Cytech is recognised globally as one of the leading technical training programs for bicycle mechanics, both its short and long courses and its support for a very successful UK apprenticeship program.
“Australia’s Certificate III apprenticeship/traineeship is underutilised and
“Government funding is available in most States to help support the cost for employers and students wanting to start a career as a mechanic,”
“State and federal governments have indicated they want to support any initiatives that increase apprenticeship numbers.
“In the longer term this may lead to the recognition of Cytech training and the Certificate III as the accredited training pathway to working as a mechanic in the bicycle industry.”
The seeds for The Bicycle Academy were sown five years ago when the Pedal Group, one of Australasia’s largest bike retailer and wholesalers, sought a solution to the lack of a nationally delivered qualification that could be provided as part of an apprenticeship.
It sought the assistance of Industry Graduates, an industry-based recruitment and training organisation that manages similar academies for other employers and industry groups.
Together they set out to position The Bicycle Academy as the bicycle industry leader in mechanic training and career development.
Michael said: “We wanted to deliver accredited courses of the highest quality and become the industry standard in vocational training.
“We will continue to consult proactively with employers throughout Australia and industry associations such as Bicycle Industries Australia to ensure the training meets their needs for trained and qualified bicycle mechanics, technicians, and other industry skilled employees.
“It’s important The Bicycle Academy becomes a trusted source of recruitment and follow-up training, to help maximise the growth of the bicycle industry as whole.”
“Recruitment and training of bicycle mechanics has been a challenge in Australia for decades. Surveys of bikes retailer during the past five years have repeatedly identified training availability as one of the main pain points for their business to operate and grow.”
“Plotting current labour levels against the industry’s growth trajectory made it abundantly clear a dedicated apprenticeship career pathway and other bicycle industry training is necessary to enable the industry to achieve that potential growth.”
In addition, the increasing complexity and sophistication of e-bikes and other bicycles compounded the need for high-level formalised training, he said.
The growing mainstream recognition of bikes as an important transport option and their technological advances boosted the potential for an accredited career pathway for bicycle mechanics.
“Given the bicycle industry’s place in the future of sustainable transportation, the technical requirements for mechanics and their training are becoming similar to their peers in the automotive industry,” Michael added.
“This should be reflected in how bike mechanics’ skills and their training accreditations are ranked in comparison to employees in other industries”
The Bicycle Academy is initially offering five Cytech courses – Cytech Theory 1, Technical 1,2, 3, & e-Bike – as well as fee-for service short courses.
Theory 1 is an online, self-paced course and costs $250.
The technical courses are conducted over a number of days:
• Technical 1 – two days ($750)
• Technical 2 – 10 days ($2,500)
• Technical 3 – six days ($3,400)
• Technical e-Bike – three days ($1,700)
The Certificate III Bicycle Workshop Operations (Apprenticeship/Traineeship) is an 18-month workplace-based program, with 20 days technical training at a Bicycle Academy facility.
Students and employer could be eligible for government funding or rebates.
The training is provided through AGA, an Intowork Group Australia-registered training organisation (RTO#3829) specialising in apprenticeships in various industries, including the automotive sector.
To book Cytech short courses or to find out more about the Bicycle Academy’s courses or apprenticeships, email the Bicycle Academy’s enrolment team at email@example.com