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DISCOUNTED BUS TRAVEL FOR ISLE OF WIGHT APPRENTICES

Jez Conway

Apprentices can now benefit from cheaper bus travel as part of a bid to encourage sustainable transport on the Isle of Wight.

Connect To Work – the project to promote work-based sustainable travel – has agreed a deal with Southern Vectis to enable apprentices to benefit from an 80% discount on a 30-day, multi-day Key Card pass.

Jez Conway, a teaching assistant apprentice at Wootton Primary School, is already benefitting from the offer:

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“Being able to access the discounted bus travel while I am on my apprenticeship has made a huge difference to me. I travel five days a week from Sandown to Wootton via Ryde and because of the 80 per cent discount, I have saved a lot of money.”

Organisations taking part in the scheme include HTP Apprenticeship College, Isle of Wight College, SMART Recruitment and Training, Care Learning Centre and Job Centre Plus Isle of Wight.

Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, Councillor Ian Ward, said:

“This new scheme with Southern Vectis is a helpful start to the new year, giving financial help to apprentices as they start on their journey to a new career. Services such as this play an enormous role in boosting economic growth by helping people to access employment, training and skills.”

The Connect to Work bus discount scheme, part funded with Southern Vectis and delivered by council partner SYSTRA, is part of a wider programme of sustainable transport interventions being delivered by the Isle of Wight Council and its partners over the next two years, using £1.35 million of funding secured competitively from the Department for Transport.

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Richard Tyldsley, Southern Vectis general manager, added:

“Our team is keen support the island’s apprentices as they embark on training for their new careers. Many are working within important industries, which provide vital services to those living here – and we want to help them in any way we can.

“I’d like to wish all Isle of Wight apprentices the very best with their training – and hope they are able to make full use of our bus services over the coming months and the rest of their careers.”

The project gives access to a range of offers to both apprentices and jobseekers, the majority of which are free and include:

– money off voucher towards cycle purchase/ maintenance;
– cycle skills course;
– home or workplace cycle repairs and checks;
– membership of the Liftshare car-sharing scheme;
– bus travel discounts; and
– information and guidance sessions.

Simon Attrill, head of business and development and communication at HTP Apprenticeship College, said:

“The cost of travel can be a real barrier to new apprentices. This initiative provides real financial help and we know the savings they’re able to access are already making a real difference to our apprentices. I hope the project is sustainable, so apprentices in the future know that discounted travel is another benefit of undertaking an apprenticeship.”

Full details of the scheme and how to apply through your training provider are available at www.connecttowork.info. Alternatively, you can contact [email protected]   for more info or speak to your training college.

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