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Downland Cycles Training Centre, Kent: VRQ level 3 Cycle Mechanic and Frame Building courses

 
 
 
We have been successfully training cycle mechanics and frame builders for 18 years. Whether you want to learn how to fix your own bike or work in the trade, build a frame for yourself or become a commercial frame builder, we have the courses and expertise to help you achieve your goals.
 
Julie and Bryan established their retail/repairs/training centre in Canterbury and relocated to their purpose-built training facility in 2012. They are a Campag Service, Shimano and SICI Bikefit centre and have their own bikes custom made by Bryan under the Invicta Hand Made in Kent brand.
 
Julie managed a local race team and the South East Road Race League for many years, and staged sportives and nocturnes, appearing on the BBC on two occasions with their events. Bryan worked as a pro team mechanic for Navigators and Recycling teams in the Tour of Britain and in Europe.
 
They helped research the routes for the Canterbury finish of the Tour of Britain and the Tour de France, organising the cycling festivals for both occasions and appearing in the official promotional video with their race team.
This real experience and knowledge of the industry means you will have up-to-date and relevant training, with skills development, component compatibilities, sourcing tools, equipment and parts, and setting up a business or gaining employment.
No expense is spared in providing the right equipment for you, with individual workstations in a purpose-built training centre. You can purchase tools, parts and accessories at generous course discounts. Five people per mechanic course and two per frame course means individual attention from Bryan, Julie and Martyn.
 
Our on-site accommodation is just £38 per night, including all meals, which are home cooked by Julie using local meat, bread and home-grown veg. The idea is that you come and stay, ride in the evenings, immerse yourself in the cycle training and utilise the workshops in the evenings for practice.
 
We are on-site out of teaching hours to support and assist you, so you leave feeling confident and having confidence in your skills. But it doesn’t stop there: we will support you with no time limit when you need us, advice or help given by email, telephone or coming back down for a refresher or to solve a problem at no additional cost.
 
We assume no previous knowledge when you arrive, and will train you in all types of components and systems, from 1950s internal hubs through to the latest electronic gearing technology, frame building, and everything you need to know about wheels, hubs, frames, brakes and suspension systems. All this offers a real opportunity to learn the skills and trade in the context of a comprehensive leading industry cycle business.
 
We can supply contacts for our course references from people who have trained with us and set up their own businesses, or now work as employees within the bike industry.
 
Take a look at what’s on offer on our website at www.downlandcycles.co.uk, email us
on julie@downlandcycles.co.uk or call us on 01227 709706.
 
  • Mark now works as a sales and mechanic professional at Bike Park Wales
  • Terry works at West End Cycles in Conwy
  • Steve Drewery work at Carbon Bike Solutions in Derbyshire
  • Steve Anderson works at Halfords
  • Tony Arnell has set up his own business, including sport science and bike fitting
  • Steve Gaze own mobile mechanic business in the Forest of Dean
 
 

Security in the Spotlight

 
 
 
 
Name: Michael Starhahn BSc
Final rank: Sergeant
Years served: 14
Courses: IMAS level 2 Field Operator; level 3 EOD Technical Advisor
Provider: MAT Mondial Ltd
Current job: Remote mechanical demining operator
 
‘As a serving soldier with 14 years in the Royal Artillery, having specialised in communications and reached the rank of Sergeant, the thought of leaving the Forces was daunting, but I knew I wanted to work in landmine clearance and humanitarian aid projects around the world. I was lucky that a friend mentioned early on that the MAT Mondial EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) course could be found online.
 
‘I was informed that, to secure employment overseas, the live range demolitions that MAT Mondial Ltd provides are invaluable. It was an easy choice: with the MoD assisting towards food and accommodation, and combining ELCAS funds, the total cost can be greatly reduced.
 
‘The small town of Peja, set at the foot of a mountain range in Kosovo, is where I attended the full “Zero to hero, day and night” six weeks’ training. The modules – IMAS level 2 Field Operator and level 3 EOD Technical Advisor, both taught by UK and local instructors at the highest level – meant that theory and practice-based lessons helped the days fly by and kept you on your toes. Live demolition days thrown in with exercises around the local area made the whole experience extremely rewarding. Following extensive formative and summative testing, and a final exam, it was refreshing to find that not only are you qualified in landmine clearance and munitions “bomb” disposal, but you have also gained enhanced C-IED skills and are trained in clearing heavily booby trapped rooms, as well as area search, and understanding air dropped weapons and guided missiles. The skills gained are impressive and varied.
 
‘Having completed the course and gained the Best Student Award, I was still four months away from my last day in the Army. With some money I had saved I decided to complete another course as a fall-back – something that had always interested me. I travelled to Hereford, home of the SAS, and completed the Phoenix Close Protection body-guarding course run by ex-Special Forces personnel. I achieved a top score on the SIA final written exam, and was also able to plan, lead and conduct a full counter-surveillance operation. I remained there for another week, qualifying as an Advanced/Approved Operational Tier 1 Trauma Medic, as this would help in both industries later on. With these on my CV and two months’ terminal leave remaining, I decided to use the indulgence military flight and travelled 8,000 miles to the Falkland Islands for two weeks’ work experience with the BACTEC EOD Demining teams, at my own cost. What you put in you nearly always get out. I spent two very windy weeks observing the demining process, both manual and mechanical clearance, across various terrains, giving me an insight into whether this was the life for me.
 
‘Finally leaving the Army in April, I managed just two weeks of asset protection work within the security sector (my back-up plan) before receiving a phone call from the BACTEC Demining company asking if I’d be willing to work for them in the UK for two months until deploying to the Falklands in September, to continue on contract there as a remote mechanical demining operator. I agreed without taking a breath as the pay is almost double I was receiving as an Army Sergeant.
 
‘There is no doubt that, with the EOD level 3 qualification, your CV and skill-set become very attractive within what is a thriving industry, however people commonly underestimate the importance of networking or going that extra mile (or 8,000!) to put yourself ahead of the pack. I am now helping fellow soldiers to follow the same path I chose on the route to a career in humanitarian aid and EOD.’
 
To find out more about a career in the security sector, turn to our feature on page 22
 
 

Durham University announce the £20,000 ‘Military Scholarship’

 
 
 
Durham University and the British military have a long and illustrious history of association. Many alumni have laid the foundations for nationally significant military careers during their studies in the North East. Furthermore, Military Scholars will become members of St. Cuthbert’s Society, one of the University's oldest Colleges, which has itself an extensive military heritage. Many staff and students fought in both First and Second World Wars and, in 1946, the Society was re-founded by veterans of the war.
 
The University is indebted to Patrick (Paddy) Walker, an alumnus (St. Cuthbert’s Society 1980-83) who initiated the Military Scholarships programme in 2011 by creating the first two Scholarships in honor of Lieutenant Abraham Slowe – 6th Batallion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and Brigadier Harry Walker – 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guard. One of the two inaugural scholars became the first person in his family to go to University.
 
Taking Paddy’s vision forward, we are delighted to be able to launch an expanded programme with increased support from a number of Trusts and Foundations. Thanks to their support, and generous contributions from individual donors, Durham University is able to award two undergraduate scholarships of up to £20,000 per scholar, commencing in the academic year 2015/16. The scholarships are designed to support an individual who has been injured, wounded, or sick as a direct result of military service, or a direct member of their family. The scholarships have an application deadline of 15 May 2015 and candidates are required to submit an academic application to the University prior to submitting their scholarship application. Further information and eligibility criteria are available here.
 
Durham University would like to express its sincere gratitude to Walking with the Wounded, ABF the Soldiers' Charity, the Stuart Halbert Foundation and the 3Ts Charitable Trust for their continued support.
 
 

Get on course for a new career with Providence Training

 
 
 
Providence Training is a specialist training provider that can offer its customers not only a wide range of courses but also a wealth of experience and expertise. Our training centre is located in the beautiful county of Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales, and within easy reach of many military bases.
 
Our unique offering to learners comes in the form of small informal classes, vocationally experienced instructors and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. This manifests itself in high levels of learner success – for example, our NEBOSH General Certificate pass rate is 84%, which is roughly 20% higher than the national average.

Providence Training, through its pipefitting and welding training departments, also has links with the engineering construction industry, which is responsible for the building and maintenance of many key industrial plants, such as refineries and power stations: the ‘energy sector’. Predictions are that there will be a shortfall in the number of skilled workers available within the country to meet the planned construction projects designed to reduce national CO2 emissions (eight nuclear power stations and 44,000 wind generators). It is evident that significant employment opportunities will emerge imminently in this sector. Consequently the courses offered by Providence Training are structured to enhance future employment prospects for participants. Under the ELC scheme, we offer Welder Training & Coding, the NEBOSH General Certificate in Safety & Health, and NVQ 3 and 4 awards in Occupational Safety & Health under City & Guilds.
 
Other than the level 3 and above courses, Providence Training offers a wide range of other training courses, including various passport schemes – all of which can be booked outside of the ELC scheme. Please visit www.providence trainingltd.com for more information.
Our prices are very competitive and there are no hidden extras. For instance, the NEBOSH price of £850 + VAT includes not only lunch but also the NEBOSH textbook and delegate registration.

Other onsite facilities include extensive training workshops, four fully equipped classrooms, disabled access, canteen facilities serving hot and cold food, and an extensive grassed area for relaxation between sessions.

For further information please call 01646 600062.
 
See the advertisement on page 39.
 
Published in November 2010
 
 

Return to Work Initiative benefits injured TA soldier

 
 
 
A Territorial Army soldier, seriously injured in Afghanistan and unable to return to his former employment, has taken on a new challenge working with the national arms and armoury collection. Lance Corporal David Sterling Brown, 39, from Dilwyn, Herefordshire, was left with serious leg injuries and a broken back when a roof was blown off a building by a low-flying helicopter in Garmsir last year. The roof landed on him, causing devastating injuries and he was airlifted to Camp Bastion hospital with three broken bones in his lower spine.

Mid-way through his recovery back in the UK, he realised that he might not be able to return to his former employment as a specialist armourer, reproducing medieval armour pieces for private collections and museums around the world. However, at this point, an Army welfare team began working to get Lance Corporal Brown into the Return to Work Initiative: a programme run by the MOD to help find meaningful employment for Service personnel in a period of recovery following injury or illness. And, this April, Lance Corporal Brown benefited from the scheme when he arrived for his first day of a very suitable placement at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, helping museum staff to audit the national collection, which includes items that he himself made prior to his deployment!
 
Published in August 2010
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