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Cytech Apprenticeship Scheme

Our team mates passionate about cycling and repairing bikes have the opportunity to enrol in the Cytech Apprenticeship Scheme. We have seen many Decathletes successfully come through the apprenticeship with higher confidence and a broader knowledge of bike maintenance among other things. Contact your nearest store for more information if this is something which interests you.

Claudio
"My name is Claudio and I currently work at the Decathlon Eastlands branch. I am very...

"My name is Claudio and I currently work at the Decathlon Eastlands branch. I am very passionate when it comes to cycling and working on bikes so when I was told of the opportunity to be a part of this apprenticeship I was jubilant. I enrolled on the course in November 2017 and during the first meeting after the sign up I was shown what the apprenticeship would cover and I was also given some homework.

The first 3 pieces of homework were based on health and safety, legislation, etc.
We then had a few more meetings in the next few months with more homework added to the mix. As well as completing the homework I also logged every hour spent in the workshop doing jobs which linked to the apprenticeship.

In May 2018 I went to London to do the practical part of the apprenticeship where I spent two weeks learning everything from brake bleeding to wheel building. It was a fantastic experience and I really enjoyed this, especially the wheel building as I had never done it previously. I also enjoyed brake bleeding as I wasn't very confident in this process but with all the training provided and with a helping hand given when needed I felt I gained all the confidence that I could get from this experience and I now tackle these jobs on a weekly basis in the store.

Once back from London and with all the knowledge that I gained I then put it into practice in the store as well as finishing off the rest of the homework to complete the engineering side of the apprenticeship.

The last step was to complete the exams for the Maths, English and ICT key skills and then in Nov 2018 I had my last meeting with the coordinator to complete the process and sign me off.

Overall it was an amazing experience and it is definitely something I would recommend to anyone that enjoys repairing and maintaining bicycles. It has taught me many things I didn't know as well as teaching me how to do things efficiently and to high standards."

Elliott
My name is Elliott and I joined Decathlon 2 years ago. When first starting I was incredibly keen to...

My name is Elliott and I joined Decathlon 2 years ago. When first starting I was incredibly keen to complete the Cytech apprenticeship as it was a way for me to take my skills to the next level. I have been building, repairing and riding bikes since i was 10, but this would be the first time for me doing an accredited training course.

The first step was meeting up with my Cytech course mentor, Adam who explained the different stages of the course and what would be covered. Our first module covered health and safety along with the different legislation and governing bodies involved with cycling and workshops. This was all very new to me and really interesting to learn with Adam’s help. Over the next few months we met every 6 weeks to catch up on how I was doing with my work books and also to help with any of the modules I was doing at the time.

After I had completed my health and safety and legislation modules Adam checked that I had the correct level of Maths, English and ICT skills. Unfortunately I didn't have the required qualification in ICT so we did some training to get me ready to take an exam. After a few weeks of practice at home with the resources I was given I took my ICT exam and passed!

Once all this was done I went away to Stafford for 2 weeks to complete my practical training and assessment. This was of course the part of the apprenticeship I enjoyed most, working alongside other mechanics doing the course and learning new skills such as wheel building and confirming my knowledge on a lot of things were great. The trainers were full of tips and tricks to help make jobs much easier and quicker.

The last things for me to complete was 3 recorded workshop jobs (1 monitored by my mentor) and a custom build specification for a customer. Because we don't really do custom build at Decathlon I had one of my cycling colleagues come up with a type of bike he wanted along with a budget and I created a hypothetical build for him. This was also really fun as I was able to be creative in sourcing the products and exactly what I was going to spec the bike with to get the most out of the type of bike they wanted.

The whole experience was great and having now completed my level 2 I am looking at moving on to the level 3 course to allow me to maximise my knowledge and skills even more. It was a great opportunity to have in the company and really allows me to work to a higher standard.

Chris
I started working in Decathlon Stockport in 2014 as a bike seller, with a view to learning more...

I started working in Decathlon Stockport in 2014 as a bike seller, with a view to learning more about bikes and how to fix them. I picked up a lot of the basics from my teammates, who were really helpful, and after a few years, my manager approached me with the possibility of becoming a fully qualified bike mechanic through a new government apprenticeship scheme. 

I was enrolled on the ATG Cytech course through the NVQ which involved theory and practical work as well as assessments in the ATG Cytech workshop in Stafford. The practical assessments in particular were such an amazing experience - we worked on a variety of bikes and learned about everything in real depth. My building skills and technical knowledge expanded significantly, and I was able to pass on what I’d learned to the rest of my team in store. One of the best things I learnt from the whole course is the ‘bounce test’ - so simple, yet enormously effective as a diagnostic tool!

It means a lot to me that the company was willing to invest time and money in me so that I could advance as a person and an employee. I really enjoy passing on this knowledge and helping my colleagues improve as mechanics. The knowledge and confidence I have gained with bikes is really noticeable, and I think this comes across when communicating with customers on the shop floor. I would strongly recommend the apprenticeship to anyone who has an interest in bikes and a desire to further their knowledge and skills. The whole thing was a really positive experience. One thing I’ll take from it is that you never stop learning about bikes - even when you’ve qualified as a Master Mechanic!