Combined authority extends cut price travel scheme for apprentices

Apprentices Dan Thomas and Katie Roberts with Andy Street

A half price travel scheme to help young trainees cut the cost of getting to work has been made permanent by Transport for West Midlands(TfWM), the transport arm of the combined authority.

The scheme, launched as a pilot last September, will see an extra 31,000 young people across the region benefit from a 50% travel discount.

West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street said helping young people get the skills they needed for the jobs being created across the region was a top priority for WMCA.

“Apprenticeships offer young people a fantastic opportunity to earn and learn and get that essential first step on the career ladder,” he said.

“I cannot overstate the importance of apprenticeships to our economy – helping businesses develop the skills they need.

“So, we are delighted to support them in a practical way by providing cheaper travel. At the same time they can also help cut congestion and pollution by using trains, trams and buses.”

Two apprentices – Katie Roberts and Dan Thomas – working on the extension of the Midland Metro from New Street Station to Centenary Square joined Mr Street to announce the scheme.

Both apprentices work for Midland Metro Alliance (MMA), the organisation designing, planning and delivering five new tram extensions over the next decade for the WMCA.

MMA is already recruiting apprentices to ensure it has the sustainable workforce necessary to complete the work.

Katie Roberts joined the MMA in September as a document control/business administration apprentice.

She said: “It was brilliant news when I found out I had successfully got the apprenticeship and could start in September 2017. I am still absolutely loving my apprenticeship.”

Dan Thomas began his MMA apprenticeship in first line management at City of Wolverhampton College, following redundancy and several years of temporary jobs.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, WMCA lead on transport and leader of City of Wolverhampton Council said: “I’m delighted we can roll out this scheme permanently, following our successful trial.

“The WMCA has been committed to making travel more affordable for young people because we are very aware of the positive impact that can have on young lives.

“Our transport arm – TfWM – has been working hard with bus, tram and train operators to make this happen and it’s great news for young people.

“We hope they will now take full advantage of this scheme over the coming year.”

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