Jobseekers’ bus journeys double

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The number of jobseekers using a special discount scheme has soared, Stagecoach says

Stagecoach has revealed that trips made under its national jobseekers discounted travel initiative are up 115% since May, with the latest ONS data showing more than 950,000 job vacancies nationwide. More than 120 people per day are applying to Stagecoach for work, with applications for the firm’s current 300 operations and engineering vacancies, the firm said, up 8.5% on pre-Covid levels.

Government figures show bus journeys outside London now close to 70% of pre-Covid levels, but bus journeys by jobseekers in the UK have doubled as individuals without work look to secure roles among a record number of vacancies in the UK economy, data from Stagecoach has shown.
The Office of National Statistics revealed last month that job vacancies have hit a record high as the UK’s labour market rebounds from the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, hitting 953,000 in the three months to July 2021.

Data published by the operator shows that trips under its national jobseekers discounted ‘Back on Board’ travel initiative, which gives jobseekers across the UK a 50% discount on bus travel to help them attend job interviews and find employment, have increased by 115% since May.
Funded entirely by Stagecoach, the scheme was developed to support efforts to increase youth employment and social inclusion. For many individuals who are out of work and do not have access to a car, the operator said that buses are a lifeline.

Latest Stagecoach figures show jobseeker bus trips under the scheme are now running at just under 1,000 every four weeks, compared to around 460 every four weeks in May. The firm also revealed that on average it is receiving more than 120 job applications a day. Carla Stockton-Jones, Stagecoach UK Managing Director said: “Buses are absolutely critical to the country rebuilding out of the pandemic. As well as being a greener way to travel, they connect people and communities with employment, education and skills, our high streets, as well as leisure and family and friends.

“In recent months we’ve seen a clear step-change in journeys by jobseekers as the country looks to recover from the pandemic. Our data also shows a big jump in demand for a range of roles in the bus sector, which has a bright future ahead with the urgent need to decarbonise the country and meet the challenge of climate change. We’re proud to be playing our part in helping connect people sustainably with jobs to keep the UK economy running and help deliver a green recovery.”

Stagecoach is receiving more than 120 applications a day, and is carrying just under 1,000 jobseekers a month. RICHARD SHARMAN