• The rail industry is encouraging jobseekers in Scotland to boost their job searches by applying for the free Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card
• The number of journeys made by cardholders in Scotland fell to 43,700 during the pandemic, highlighting that many people in the area are missing out on big savings
• Over 62% of journeys using the card are taken in London and the SE
Local MP Richard Thomson is joining 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 20,700 in Scotland since the start of the pandemic, meaning that thousands of jobseekers could be missing out on major savings.
The Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card gives holders a 50% discount on rail journeys and anyone claiming Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit for 3-9 months (18-24-year-olds) or 3-12 months (over 25s) can apply through their Work Coach and local Jobcentre Plus.
The drop reflects a national trend that has seen the usage of the card drop by over a third in the months March 2020-October 2021 – with over 62% of journeys taken using the card in London and the South East. With new unemployment figures out this week which show joblessness at 114,000 in Scotland, Richard Thomson 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 £1.5m using the discount available to them.
MP for Gordon Constituency Richard Thomson said:
“It’s been a difficult two years for many people, particularly those whose employment has been affected by the pandemic.
“We are fortunate in Gordon Constituency to have quite a good rail service and I very much welcome this scheme which will help those who need to travel to in-person job interviews save costs on transport.”
Jacqueline Starr, Chief Executive of Rail Delivery Group, said:
“Over 700,000 journeys were made during the pandemic by people using the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card, including 43,700 in Scotland, 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.”