Jobseekers’ bus journeys double on Stagecoach routes as UK vacancies near million mark

  • Trips under Stagecoach’s National Jobseekers’ discounted travel initiative up 115% since May;
  • Bus travel to find work rises as latest ONS data reveals more than 950,000 UK job vacancies;
  • More than 120 people a day applying to work with Britain’s biggest bus and coach operator;
  • Job applications up 8.5% on pre-COVID levels as 300 operations and engineering roles on offer;
  • Government figures show bus journeys outside London now close to 70% of pre-COVID levels.

The Bus Bus Bus could take us to our Jobs Jobs Jobs as Britons get back to bus. Passenger numbers are beginning to reach pre-COVID levels outside London. For the country’s jobseekers, demand for buses have doubled as individuals look to secure roles among a record number of vacancies in the UK.

Since May 2021, there has been a gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions in England, Scotland and Wales as previously closed businesses in key sectors, such as hospitality, have opened up and the UK economy looks to re-build. 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.  The number of vacancies hit 953,000 in the three months to July 2021.

Data published today shows that trips under Stagecoach’s national jobseekers discounted travel initiative, the only scheme of its kind in the UK, are up 115% since May. The Back on Board initiative gives jobseekers across the UK a 50% discount on their bus travel to help them attend job interviews and find employment.

Stagecoach, which has worked closely with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to promote the initiative since it was launched in 2013, offers 50% off both single and return tickets for holders of a Jobcentre Plus travel card. Funded entirely by Stagecoach, this initiative was developed to support efforts to increase youth employment and social inclusion. For many individuals out of work, who do not have access a car, Britain’s most used mode of public transport is 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.

Stagecoach also revealed that on average it is receiving more than 120 applications a day from people looking to work with Britain’s biggest bus and coach operator. The company is currently recruiting for 300 roles, including positions in operations and engineering, and job applications in the year to date are up 8.5% on pre-Covid levels in 2019.

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.”

The Stagecoach figures come after latest government data published by the Department for Transport shows the number of journeys made on buses in Britain, excluding London, was at 69% of pre-pandemic levels at the start of this week. The rise coincided with the end of the summer holiday period and the return of some schools in England.

If you know anybody who is looking for work, point them to Stagecoach’s Back On Board page. It is well worth taking up, even more so with the basic rate of Universal Credit being slashed by 25%.

An EM60 Presentation, 14 September 2021.

Photograph by kind permission from Tangerine PR Ltd.

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