PAAHJUL: From job training to full time employment during covid-19

HitecVision is pleased to announce that five former addicts recently enrolled in job training at the Paahjul bicycle repair shops have secured full-time employment during April and May.

Two of the five have secured full-time employment as mechanics in Paahjul’s own shops. The remaining three have secured employment as a technician in a real estate company, a gardener and as a painter.

Paahjul continues to deliver on its mission statement, namely, to re-integrate previous addicts into society by helping them secure regular employment. This feat is even more impressive given the unprecedented times we are finding ourselves in with the global Covid-19 pandemic. We are both happy and proud to see employers give these retrained a new chance in life.

As the pandemic emerged and the Norwegian society shut down, Paahjul was forced to close its shops and furlough most employees and people on job training. However, Paahjul continued to be highly engaged on a daily basis with the people enrolled in job training to ensure they did not regress.

Gradually, as the spread of the virus started to be contained in Norway, the Norwegian society began to re-open. As a result of this, Paahjul opened its bicycle repair shops just before Easter and is now seeing very high activity as a result of the public’s shift in commuting habits, from public transport to biking.

“I’ve never experienced such a display of trust as I have at Paahjul. My quality of life has improved immensely since I started my job training programme. I am grateful to now be a full-time employee at Paahjul.” – New full-time employed bicycle mechanic at Paahjul

Paahjul is a chain of full-range bicycle repair shops, recognised for their quality, service-mindedness and in-depth bicycle repair capabilities. The Paahjul workshops provide job training for previous addicts that are aspiring to be re-integrated into society and to achieve their ambitions and dreams. Paahjul measures its success by social metrics such as getting people back into ordinary employment, improved quality of life, and better work and social skills.

The first Paahjul workshop opened in the autumn of 2013 in Stavanger, and based on positive experience from this, we have opened offshoots in Hinna Park, Stavanger in 2015, Barcode, Oslo in 2016 and most recently in Sandnes in 2019. Paahjul is a co-operation between the Church City Mission and HitecVision.

Since the start, more than 90 workers have been in job training at Paahjul, and more than 25 000 bicycle repairs have been performed. 41 % of the workers have moved on to regular employment or continued in other types of job training or education. This is a very satisfactory result, as Paahjul is targeting a group of people who start out very far from a normal working life.