20 March 2008

Become a Professional Cycle Freak

We reported about it before. Denmark is in desperate need of bike mechanics. So much so that the organisation of bike shops - Danske Cykelhandlere - started a campaign with free café postcards aimed at getting young people interested in taking the bike mechanic education.

With over 600 bike shops in Copenhagen alone (most of them earning their wage by repairing bikes) let alone the rest of the nation, you can do the math

From their website, (now defunct):
"There is a big shortage of bike mechanics. The reason is that more and more bikes are being sold and they need to be serviced and repaired. In addition, bikes are becoming more advanced. Gone are the days when people used half a weekend to fix up their own bikes as best they could.

They would rather send it to a mechanic. That's why the need for good bike mechanics is rising. Completing the bike mechanic education is quite like printing your own job guarantee, but it's close."

With Denmark virtually at full employment (back in 2008, when this was first written), there are shortages in many areas of the workforce. Bike mechanics are no exception.

The course takes three years. 40 weeks are in the classroom, the rest of the time is in an apprenticeship.

With all that said, you don't HAVE to take the course to open a bike shop. Many immigrants open bike shops with their skills from their homeland.

I find it a bit funny that the bike in the postcard is like nothing you see on the bike lanes in any Danish city, but hey. It's advertising.


WestfieldWanderer said...

3 year apprenticeship eh! Makes my ten day City & Guilds course seem a bit lame.

And at 60 next birthday I wonder if I've left it too late to start a new career in a new country where I can't speak the language.

I can but dream about what might have been in the days before Zakkaliciousness...

Fritz said...

In Santa Cruz, CA (where I live) one of the local high schools has a for-credit bike maintenance class. This is akin to the shop and autoshop classes offered more traditionally, and is designed to provide skilled bike mechanics and builders to all of the bike shops (and builders) in our area. Here's info about this class.

Samuel said...

Three years!? I hope they can build frames with their eyes closed by then, though I am sure there are many subtleties that wouldn't even be learned in that period.
Do people generally get parts rebuilt at the bicycle shops, or just replaced with new ones?

max said...

The news that you post are always interesting. I recently bumped into your site and I immediately bookmarked it. I am an Italian writer and journalist, love cycling and travelling by bike. Ah, just one thing, in a previous post you quoted the town of Ferrara, but you miswrote it as Ferrera. It's a nice place, to visit and cycle. Ciao

Zakkaliciousness said...

Thanks for the comments. It's mostly an apprenticeship. The students also get taught about opening their own bike shop and the business side of things.

Samuel... depends on the part. Since most bikes are used for transport and are regarded as such, I would say new parts are put on if you need it. Especially since most bikes are not fancy, expensive speciality machines.

If something is broken on my bike, I just want it to work again. I'll take whatever the best option is.