Scully Scooters rebrands to Scully Academy

In 2012, entrepreneur Lynne Scullard had a dream to get South Africa moving. Her goal was to make a dent in the country’s unemployment figures by teaching people to ride scooters, motorcycles and tuk-tuks. 10 years later, Scully Scooters has trained and certified more than 2,200 scooter riders in partnership with conscious companies like Dis-Chem, Hollard and Cepheid. The company is celebrating its anniversary with a rebrand and a new business model that will see another 2,000 riders trained in the course of the year.

“A decade ago, I felt South Africa was stuck,” says Scullard. “Everywhere we looked, people lacked transport and they lacked basic skills – a disempowering combination. Our company goal was to give those with even entry-level education the ability to get work.”

Scullard says she is thrilled to announce the refreshed brand Scully Academy, which shows the evolution of the business since its founding into the first-of-its-kind hybrid, modular, online and in-person training provider, with courses starting from as little as R180.

She says the home delivery and mobile-commerce business boom kicked off by the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of slowing down. Unfortunately, there has also been an entry into the local market of fly-by-night delivery rider training companies providing sorely inadequate training that is leaving riders and the general public susceptible to accidents, injury and death.

“In our 10 years of experience, my team and I are still learning about safe, responsible scooter riding, but we are seeing young, newly trained and very inexperienced individuals teaching new riders, and the results are severely worrying, both for their own good, and the good of all their fellow travellers. The collision statistics speak to the fact that many big brands are cutting corners. Riding a bike is a lot more than ‘twist and go’ and sending poorly prepared riders out onto our roads does not serve anyone.”

Quality training is critical
The world of deliveries is fast paced. That’s why methodical personal and traffic safety training is the cornerstone of any delivery rider training programme.

Scully Academy offers an online foundation course, Learn to Earn, which is the first step to achieving certification. Participants learn how to ride an SMT (scooter, motorcycle or tuk-tuk) safely, they learn to value themselves, and how to make the money they earn work for them.

“In addition to learning about soft skills like attitude, behaviour and courtesy, there is road positioning, blind spots and all the other things that keep you safe on the road,” says Scullard. “We want our riders to leave with a certification and a career trajectory in mind. Whether it’s riding skills or life skills, building a strong foundation is key. Learn to Earn builds that foundation.”

Training more than 2,200 riders has given Scully Academy the insight to develop a truly comprehensive programme aimed at uplifting people who Scullard says, are at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, and are unlikely to benefit from any BBBEE programmes, which have done little to help the poor.

“My vision has been to focus on socio-economic development, targeting unemployed people who have no skills, and enabling them to get work in a growing sector. That’s where the real opportunities lie to make a difference in the lives of people, their families and their communities. When our riders understand that we are preparing them to be part of the economy, instead of subsisting outside of it, their sense of dignity and purpose is heightened. Once certified, they can become permanently employed or join the gig economy and manage their own mobile small business.”

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