Free bus boost for jobseekers

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Bus travel will be free of charge for job seekers meeting the criteria

Bus travel will be free of charge for job seekers meeting the criteria

A new scheme will provide free bus rides for Liverpool jobseekers in January.

‘Bus for Jobs’ is a national initiative launched by the Greener Journeys campaign and is supported by the major bus operators.

Merseyside bus routes will be part of an estimated 70 per cent across Britain to be made free to travel for those who are actively looking for employment.

Unemployed people will be given the chance to access any place they need to go to, lifting any mobility restriction on possible job opportunities.

Julia McNally, Employer Engagement Manager at Liverpool in Work, told JMU Journalism: “This would be very useful, as we find that transport costs are a barrier for people who are looking for work to get around to appointments, interviews, or training. It actually constitutes a substantial amount of our beneficiary budget in trying to help people overcome this.”

Stagecoach company will operate the scheme in Liverpool and St Helens with no exclusions applying.

Sir Brian Souter, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group, said: “The bus is Britain’s most important mode of public transport. Bus for Jobs could make the vital difference for those who are struggling to get that first job or training place. In particular, I hope we can help more of our young people make a better start in life.”

The program will kick start 2013 in a positive way after a difficult year which saw high unemployment figures recorded for the Liverpool city region.

Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said: “In difficult economic times, this new scheme from Greener Journeys will provide a helpful start to the New Year, enabling job hunters to travel around more easily in search of employment, to job interviews with prospective employers, and to training courses which will help them find work.”

In order for unemployed people to make the most of this opportunity, they will need to hold a JobCentrePlus Travel Discount Card which they will show to bus drivers as their bus pass.

The scheme is available to those who have been unemployed for a period of three months to a year and who are actively engaged with a JobCentrePlus adviser in returning to employment.

About Paul Collins, JMU Journalism