Barclays has launched its support for Cycle into Work, an initiative which helps disadvantaged Londoners to learn key skills and find employment.
The community investment programme partners with homeless hostels and shelters in London to reach vulnerable young people, offering them bicycle building and maintenance courses.
After completing the Build a Bike course, students keep the bikes that they built, gaining access to an affordable mode of transport.
Barclays financial support will enable the initiative to reach 150 young people. Employees will also volunteer as mentors to help participants improve their confidence, communication skills and job prospects, as well as provide them with opportunities for team work and social interaction.
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 partner organisation Bikeworks at its training centres in Bethnal Green and Ladbroke Grove, London.
A target has been set for at least 50 per cent of Build a Bike graduates to secure employment opportunities.
Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius attended an event on Monday launching the firm’s partnership with Bikeworks and said: “Barclays latest community investment programme Cycle into Work is a natural fit and extension of our London cycle sponsorships – Barclays Cycle Hire and Barclays Cycle Superhighways.
“We are particularly keen to help young people develop the skills they need to manage their finances effectively, and help them build the necessary literacy, numeracy and employability skills to play a full role in society.”
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.”