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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Bus firm Stagecoach offers free travel to Cumbrian job seekers

Bus company Stagecoach is offering free travel to job hunters in Cumbria throughout January.

Stagecoach bus photo
Stagecoach bus

The firm is backing a national ‘Bus for Jobs’ initiative that aims to help hundreds of thousands of jobseekers across the UK find work.

Free travel will be available to those over 18 who have been unemployed for more than three months.

The hope is that it will enable them to get to interviews without having to worry about the cost of fares.

Nigel Winter, managing director of Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire, said: “The bus is Britain’s most important mode of public transport. It is used by thousands of people across Cumbria and North Lancashire to access employment, education and training every day.

“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 scheme is open to all ages but is aimed especially at youngsters because youth unemployment remains high.

New unemployment figures for Cumbria are due out on Wednesday. The most recent statistics, for October, show there were 8,675 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Almost a third, 2,800, were aged 16 to 24.

Overall, 5.6 per cent of young people in Cumbria are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, just below the national average of 5.9 per cent. That is double the rate for the Cumbrian population as a whole.

Claimant rates for young people are particularly high in Copeland (8.4 per cent).

Bus for Jobs is organised by the Greener Journeys sustainable-travel campaign.

Many major bus operators are supporting the campaign, which will cover 70 per cent of the nation’s bus routes. The bus operators are paying for the scheme and publicising it.

It is open to holders of a JobCentre Plus Travel Discount Card, available through JobCentre Plus.

Those who are eligible for the card include people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support. They must be actively engaged with a Jobcentre Plus adviser in returning to employment.

For more information see the website www.busforus.co.uk.

Information about Stagecoach bus routes is at www.stagecoachbus.com/busforjobs.aspx.

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