A group of Derby College students is taking part in a pioneering project to build a bike from scratch.
The six-week course, delivered by Bike Back Derby which aims to enhance and develop the skills of young mechanics, will teach 135 Motor Vehicle students how to produce a working bicycle and repair it.
Any fully working cycles will be given to the community to promote sustainable travel in the area and persuade people to be more active and healthy. Their aim is to get students and staff to cycle to work instead of driving.
Councillor Asaf Afzal, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and public protection, said the collaboration created between the College and Bike Back Derby was fundamental to increasing the chances of students’ employment in the future.
He said: “We are able to create a unique offer to students and staff, which will improve employability of the students.
“It also meets the council’s ambitions to encourage more people to travel sustainably.”
Cycle Derby, a company designed to encourage more residents to use bicycles, was approached by Derby College which has encountered difficulties finding transport for students.
Their studies found that the majority of students did not have bikes to travel back and forth from college or if they did, they were in need of repair.
The project is being funded by the Department for Transport’s Access Fund, which is estimated to cost at least £24,000, will ensure participating students get an industry recognised Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) qualification. It is hoped it will become a sustainable operation by setting up a college maintenance shop for other students and staff to benefit from.
Derby College motor vehicle team manager Matthew Curtis also stressed the importance of this opportunity for improving health and wellbeing for students.
He said: “This course gives more students the opportunity to take up cycling which is good for health and wellbeing and makes the journey to college so much easier.
“It enables our students to gain further qualifications which will increase their job prospects in the workplace.”