Free day’s bus travel for youngsters as they try to find a job

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UNEMPLOYED youngsters will be able to hop on the bus to get to a job interview for free from today in a city with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

A Hull Card Travel Voucher will be available from Job Centre Plus and other local employment and training agencies for one day’s free travel for youngsters aged 16 to 24.

The scheme will be extended in the summer to give those youngsters who were successful in getting a job free bus travel to work for a short period.

Hull Council has been granted around £400,000 for the scheme, which continues until March 2015, from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

The latest Government statistics show nine per cent of working age people in Hull claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, the second highest proportion in the country.

Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 13.9 per cent or 4,390 youngsters claim the benefit, well above the 9.2 per cent Yorkshire and Humber rate.

Portfolio holder Coun Martin Mancey said: “By working with our partners we have been able to secure funding and offer this valuable support to 16- to 24-year-olds to enable them to travel to interviews and assist them in their efforts to find work.

“This scheme may be the difference between someone remaining unemployed or being able to attend an interview and the chance of getting a job.”

Jill Gledhill, External Partnership Manager at Job Centre Plus, said: “Unfortunately unemployment is high in Hull and this initiative will help local people as they look for their next job. We hope that this will make a real difference to local people.”

Dave Skepper, Commercial Director at Stagecoach, said: “Stagecoach in Hull is delighted to be helping to support young people in the early stages of new jobs and careers through the Hull Card Travel Voucher Scheme.

“Hull has a comprehensive network of frequent bus services with great value flexible tickets for regular commuters, which makes using the bus a smart, convenient and green choice for journeys to and from work.”