A social venture
In Denmark we have a really bad habit of expelling both things and people, the moment they do not live 100% to our expectation. We try to go the other way, but Buddha Bikes is by no means an institution. It is a workplace that recognizes the value of the amazing individuals who are often ostracized and parked in social systems. And like your 1972 grandmother's bike, it's really stupid to throw away good people: It's a waste of something beautiful and irreplaceable.
We who work in Buddha Bikes have a wealth of diagnoses. And those who haven't should probably get one. And guess once - we are still ordinary cycling people who want to do our job well and our customers happy. All while we're having fun.
Being a 'Registered Social Venture' means in short that we live up to the 'Law on Registered Social Economy' and you can read it in all its simplicity here. In plain Danish, this law states that we should not be selfish assholes, but make an effort for the outside world and document the effort.
We are very open to internships. We get to know some new people and we get a chance to infect others with our bicycle love. We get some help with the work and we do a person a favor. An internship is also a great way to get to know each other, and most educational programs start with an internship.
We have only one crucial principle when we say yes or no: We have to believe that can make a difference for the trainee .
If we do not believe that an internship will be a success, we say no thanks.
Many of our internships serve to clarify questions about whether a given person is educationally prepared - and whether we may be able to help get prepared.
If you want to be a bicycle mechanic, you have to complete an education via the Technical School of Denmark, an education that takes place primarily at the internship with thorough 1: 1 teaching.
Our apprenticeship spots are prioritized for young people who find it difficult to get apprenticeship elsewhere: The ones we can make a difference to who will benefit from it the rest of their lives. We do not care if the issues are related to an actual diagnosis or if it is of more social character.
We rarely hire apprentices before they have gone through an internship with us. Signing an education agreement over 3 years is a big step. For all parties it is a good idea to get insights into the work before committing.
The Ministry of Education also makes a number of demands, such as completed primary school levels.
Likewise, working and learning 37 hours a week is a requirement. Exemptions can sometimes be made by the Technical School, but in many cases, there is a long way to go before you as an individual are 100% ready for an apprenticeship.
Therefore, we typically start with an internship.