Concessionary scheme for apprentices urged
Transport campaign group, Greener Journeys, has called on the Government to adopt a nationally funded concessionary scheme to assist people in the first year of an apprenticeship with the cost of getting to work by bus. According to the organisation, the initiative would not only help tackle the cost of accessing work on an ‘apprentice minimum wage’ of £2.68 an hour, but it would also address the youth unemployment crisis. It cites DfT research, which shows around a third of young people not in employment, education or training think they would have chosen to participate in education or training if they had more money to cover the cost of transport. It claims its detailed fiscal analysis suggests the proposal will generate a net benefit of £27.8m per year to the UK economy providing £2.44 of benefits for every £1 invested.
Greener Journeys has worked with KPMG LLP and with over 50 expert stakeholders from across local and central government, industry and business, to design the mechanism for delivering the scheme. It will be administered by a third party supplier who will issue vouchers to eligible apprentices on production of a Unique Learner Number, a UK Provider Reference Number and an administration fee. The apprentice uses the voucher to pay for stored travel rights at a travel centre or online. The bus operator invoices the third party supplier for the value of the voucher that has been exchanged for the travel rights. The third party supplier invoices the Government for the value of the voucher issued plus an administration fee. The total value of the discount to each apprentice is capped at £250 per year and issued on a monthly basis. Bus companies may in addition choose to provide products specifically designed for apprentices.