- The rail industry is encouraging jobseekers in the south east to boost their job searches by applying for the free Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card.
- The number of journeys made by cardholders in the south east fell to 130,200 during the pandemic, highlighting that many people in the area are missing out on big savings.
- London and the south east have had the best rates of usage for the card, but thousands of jobseekers are still missing out on potential savings.
Henry Smith MP is joining Britain’s train companies in promoting the use of a half price rail discount card to get more jobseekers back on track and into work, as new research shows that journeys made using the card dropped by 29,700 in the south east of England since the start of the pandemic, meaning that thousands of jobseekers could be missing out on major savings.
“As Crawley recovers from Covid-19 I’m encouraging anyone who’s currently applying for jobs to take advantage of the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card which gives users half-price travel on the rail network.
“This can really help when looking for employment opportunities and when applying for jobs. The pandemic has hit hard and initiatives such as this can support people back into work.”
The Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card gives holders a 50 per cent discount on journeys across Britain and anyone claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit for three to nine months (18- to 24-year-olds) or three to 12 months (over 25s) can apply through their Work Coach and local Jobcentre Plus.
The drop reflects a national trend which has seen usage of the card fall by over a third between March 2020 and October 2021 – with over 62 per cent of journeys taken using the card in London and the south east.
With new figures out last week which show joblessness at 179,000 in the south east, Henry Smith MP is working with the Rail Delivery Group and Jobcentre Plus teams to further promote the card across the rest of the country. Last year, jobseekers saved a total of £1.5 million using the discount available to them.
Jacqueline Starr, Chief Executive of Rail Delivery Group, commented;
“Over 700,000 journeys were made during the pandemic by people using the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card, including 130,200 in the south east, but with the world of work opening back up and new opportunities becoming available, we want to encourage even more people to take advantage as they look to secure new jobs.
“The railway is a key part of Britain’s clean and fair recovery, and this discount card is yet another way that train companies are helping the country to bounce back.”