JOBSEEKERS will be given free bus travel for the first month of 2013 as part of a scheme by the Go Ahead Group-owned companies Wilts & Dorset, Bluestar and Southern Vectis.

Hoping to help more than 800,000 jobseekers in England, Scotland and Wales, the scheme applies to those who have been unemployed for between three and 12 months.

Anyone claiming jobseekers’ allowance, incapacity benefit, employment and support allowance or income support and is actively engaged with a Jobcentre Plus adviser in returning to employment is eligible for a Jobcentre Plus travel discount card.

The discount card will ensure free travel from January 1-31 and must be shown to a bus driver and be carried at all times. Andrew Wickham, managing director for the Go Ahead Group is said to be delighted to participate in the scheme initially devised by Greener Journeys – the campaign to promote sustainable travel. He said: “Anyone using a valid JobCentre Plus Travel Discount Card will be welcome to travel on our extensive network of services free of charge.”

Transport minister Norman Baker said: “Good bus services play a huge role in boosting economic growth by helping people to access employment and training opportunities. I congratulate the operators offering this service in January and look forward to seeing more in the future.”

A positive start to the New Year, this scheme hopes to encourage jobseekers to easily travel to job interviews and opportunities by removing costs for the month. The discount travel card can be collected from any Jobcentre Plus building and full details of the scheme are available on: