Why Cycle Mechanics?


Why is a cycle mechanics scheme needed for students with special needs? Below are a series of quotes highlighting some unique problems SEN students face and why cycle mechanics offers a real, serious, workable solution to these problems.

1. Students with SEN are often viewed in a negative light

38 per cent of people believe disabled people are a burden to society and 65% avoid disabled people because they don’t know how to deal with them. (BT, ‘Ready, Willing and Disabled Event, 2011)

2. Many Students with SEN leave school without a formal qualification

People with special needs are twice as likely to have no formal qualification as those without a disability. (ONS, ‘measuring national wellbeing – education and skills’, 2012)

3. There are too few vocational opportunities for students with SEN. Many students with SEN find their normal curriculum uninteresting and inaccessible.

There is an insufficient range of post-16 vocational and employment opportunities to meet the needs of young people with LDD [Learning Difficulties and Disabilities]. Many of these young people did not continue in education, training or employment because the curriculum or programmes did not interest them or were not at the right level for them. (Ofsted, ‘Reducing the numbers of young people not in education, employment or training: what works and why’, 2010)

4. Students with SEN struggle to find work

30% of young people who had a statement of special educational needs when they were in Year 11, and 22% of young people with a declared disability, were not in any form of education, employment or training when they reached age 18 in 2009 compared with 13% of their peers. (DFE, ‘Department for Education analysis of the Youth Cohort Study and Longitudinal Study of Young People in England: The Activities and Experiences of 18-year-olds: England 2009, in Support and aspiration: a new approach to special educational needs and disability’, 2011)

Disabled people are far less likely to be in employment. The UK employment rate of working-age disabled people is 47.8 per cent, compared to 75.9 per cent of non-disabled people.(Annual population survey, 2012)

At age 26, disabled people were nearly four times as likely to be unemployed or involuntarily out of work than non-disabled people. (Papworth Trust Disability, ‘Facts and Figures’, 2010)

5. There needs to be accessible vocational qualifications that can open the doors to employment:

…Vocational education is a vital underpinning for our economy. The development of young people’s skills in areas of immediate relevance to employers and business is a central part of the Government’s plans to boost economic growth, and to support higher levels of youth employment. (‘Wolf Review of Vocational Education – Government Response’, May 2013)

Helping people to improve their chances of finding work, especially those who have few or no qualifications or specialist vocational skills, is a vital task for the further education (FE) and skills sector and one which presents considerable challenges. These challenges have intensified during the current economic downturn. (Ofsted, ‘Post-16’, July 2012)

6. There is a huge demand for cycle mechanics

Firstly, there is currently an increasing demand for cycle mechanics. So if you have a passion for bikes, and some technical knowledge of how they work, this could be just the career for you.  (https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/aboutus/newsarticles/Pages/Spotlight-CyclinginBritain.aspx)

Cycling in the UK has undergone a renaissance over the past five years, with an increasing number of people taking the streets of the UK by bike, mainly because of pleasure, health, fitness or business reasons (for example, couriers and other delivery companies).

In addition, efforts by the Government and campaign groups to invigorate cycling as a viable alternative travel option as well as the inspirational success and legacy of the elite professionals at London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics have boosted the number of bikes produced and sold in the UK as well as their usage.

Around 3.7 million cycle units are sold per year and about 8% of the population aged five+ cycles three or more times a week (around 4.64 million people).

Due to the increase use of technology in the production of the current cycles, cyclists are turning to professional cycle mechanics to carry out the regular maintenance and repair of their bikes. This has resulted in an increase in the demand of skilled professionals in cycle mechanics.  (City and Guilds, Purpose and Recognition , August 2015)


3. How do we work?

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