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Free bus travel for UK unemployed

In a bid to tackle the rising jobless figures, a new government initiative has been announced to provide free bus travel for the UK unemployed. Commencing in January 2013, this proposal is aimed at more than 800,000 jobseekers, in order to make it much easier to travel to prospective employers for interviews, giving them an added incentive in their search for employment.

Eligibility for free travel

A coalition of transport bodies have come together to offer free bus travel for UK unemployed. It is aimed at anyone in the UK who has been out of work for between three months, and up to a year. There are various other criteria, including the fact that in order to qualify the person must hold a Job Centre Plus Travel Discount Card which is aready entitling them to 50% off their bus journeys.

The travel companies who have come together to make this generous offer are Arriva, National Express, First, Go-Ahead and Stagecoach. Between them, these operators cover nearly three-quarters of the routes in England, Wales and Scotland. Transport Minister Norman Baker has stated that a good bus service plays an extremely important role in boosting economic growth by allowing people toaccess employment and training opportunities.

This scheme will be particularly beneficial to the large numbers of young unemployed, many of whom will have no access to any other form of transport than their local public buses.

Amongst the factors that have driven this process are the disturbing employment trends. Although there are strong employment figures, many of these are down to peoples ettling for available part-time jobs rather than full-time work.

The future for unemployment

According to recent studies in The Jobs Economist, Britain has over 2.5 million unemployed, three million under-employed and about 2.3 million who are considered economically underactive. This reveals that upwards of eight million UK citizens remain short of work, despite job creation initiatives. This incentive of offering free bus travel for UK unemployed is certainly a welcome boost, but the roots causes of unemployment remain to be addressed.

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