New rail card to help jobseekers back to work

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MARK Menzies has joined forces with train companies to show support for the re-launched Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Railcard.

From the end of October the new Railcard is available to eligible people in England, Wales and Scotland who have been out of work for 13 weeks.

It offers jobseekers a 50 per cent discount on train fares as they travel to interviews, to the Jobcentre or to and from training, for up to three months at a time.

Mr Menzies attended an event in Parliament on Thursday to make sure as many people as possible in Fylde know about the help on offer to them when they are looking for work.

He said: “I was delighted to sign up to show my support for the card. In these tough economic times anything that makes it easier to travel to a job interview or training is very welcome news.”

In the last ten years, 6,500,000 rail journeys have been made using the Railcard, saving jobseekers a total of £11.2 million.

Currently, an average of 7,723 journeys are made each week using the card, and Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) research shows that 36 per cent of people say they would not have been able to attend interviews without the help of the card.

Mr Edward Welsh, Corporate Affairs Director at the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “We don’t just get commuters into work and home again, or business travellers to meetings at the other end of the country.

“The railway also helps the unemployed to look for work further afield than their home town which is good for jobs and the economy.”

Neil Couling, Work Services Director at the Department for Work and Pensions, added: “The Jobcentre Plus Discount Card is a great resource for jobseekers, helping them with the cost of train travel so they can attend interviews and training.

“I am pleased to be working with ATOC to deliver this and that so many more people will be helped by the scheme.”

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