Workwise Travel Scheme: Giving you a helping hand to work
Workwise travel support offers eligible jobseekers and apprentices 50% off the full-cost price of most selected Network West Midlands (NWM) and National Express buses (NX bus) travel passes for up to 3 months when they start a new job. You can also apply if you are increasing your hours to 16 or more per week.
Please take the time to read through the eligibility information, and our frequently asked questions (FAQ) section below. Please note, your application will be assessed in line with our eligibility criteria. If you do not meet one or more of these, regretfully, we will not be able to proceed with your application.
All applications must be made online.
Workwise is a transport operator funded scheme offering travel assistance for eligible jobseekers and apprentices who have started a new job by offering a 50% discount off the full-cost purchase price of eligible NWM and National Express buses (NX bus) travel passes for up to 3 months.
The scheme can also support those who are currently working and are increasing their working hours to 16 or more per week.
To be eligible to apply for Workwise travel support, you must meet the following criteria:
- Live in a West Midlands Local Authority area: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.Note: You meet this condition if you are registered with a Jobcentre Plus office within the West Midlands area.
- You must have been unemployed or increasing your current work hours to 16 or more per week.
- Be working a total minimum of 16 hours per week.
- You must not have received Workwise travel support for new employment between 1st April and 31st March in the current financial year.
- Must attach to your Workwise application proof of your job offer and proof of your benefits (if applicable).
- You must make your Workwise application before or within 5 working days of your official start date
- Be aged between 16 to 65.
- Provide a valid National Insurance number.
- Must not be supported with travel through other programmes.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to confirm they meet all the criteria points, and will be asked to prove their eligibility or provide information. Your application will be rejected if you are unable to demonstrate or prove you meet the criteria points, as stated above.
You will be asked to upload evidence as part of your Workwise online application. We will need you to upload a recent, colour passport-sized photograph and proof of your job offer.
Please refer to the following instructions when uploading your evidence:
Upload a photo
You will need to upload a new photograph, even if you have an existing Swift card or photo card.
Your photograph must meet the following requirements:
- Be in full colour, passport-sized.
- In JPEG format.
- Less than 4MB in file size.
- In clear focus showing your full face, with no hats (unless worn for religious reasons).
- Taken in good light and not be in black and white or contain any Snapchat filters or sunglasses (normal prescription glasses are fine).
- You can take a selfie on your smart phone as long as it meets the above points.
- Please do not upload: a photograph of a photograph, images with a watermark, photographs with red-eye, snap chat filters or any photographs with other people within or anything obscuring the view of your face.
Official confirmation of your job offer
We must see official proof of your job offer, please upload one of the following:
- A copy of your contract of employment, which must clearly show your official start date, contracted hours and appointment to role.
- An official email from your employer confirming the above point.
- An official email from your work coach, confirming your full name, address, national insurance number and the information from point 1.
- Please do not upload: staff rotas or timesheets, job role duties or spec sheets, confirmations of an interview, hand-written documents or text messages.
We are unable to provide you support through the Workwise travel scheme, if you fall under one or more of the following exclusions:
- If you’re being helped by another programme that provides travel support (e.g. Jobcentre Plus referral to the Work Programme, Work Choice or GBS Youth Employment Initiative).
- With travel costs for attending training programmes or interviews.
- If your application is made more than 5 days after your official start date.
- If you’ve already received help from us from 1 April to 31 March in the current financial year.
- If you live outside of the eligible area.
- If your place of work is outside of the West Midlands area.
- If you do not meet one or more of the points under our eligibility criteria.
Criteria for disqualification
You won’t be able to receive Workwise travel support if you don’t abide by our terms and conditions.
We reserve the right to immediately withdraw any further Workwise travel support if you do not abide by our terms and conditions, or if the information you have provided in your application is false or inaccurate.
You will need to complete your Workwise application using our online application form. If you need assistance with completing this form or with using a computer, please ask a friend or family member for help, or if you are still registered with your job centre, you may wish to approach your work coach for assistance.
Please note, it is the responsibility of the applicant to apply for Workwise travel support within the agreed timescales and to provide all requested information within a timely manner. We reserve the right to hold or cancel your application if we do not receive all the relevant information to assess your eligibility.
If you feel you are eligible to apply, please click “Apply Online” below to start your application.
There are three mobile apps available which you can download for free. They'll all make your daily travel across the Network West Midlands area easier. Whether you want to plan your journey in advance, get live updates during your journey or plan a more sustainable walking route, you’ll find all the help you need.
Network West Midlands (NWM)
Search for: Network West Midlands (NWM)
- iPhone iOS 7.0+
- iPod touch iOS 7.0+
- iPad with iOS 7.0+
- Android OS 4.0+
- BlackBerry OS 5+
Search for: NetNav
- Android 4.0+
- iPhone iOS 7.0+
- iPad iOS 7.0+
Swift is a transport smart card for buses, trams and trains in the West Midlands. Your Workwise travel pass will be provided to you on a Swift smart card.
In order to activate your Workwise travel passes onto your Swift card, you will need to use the Swift Collector app on Android smartphones to complete this step.
Click here to download the Swift Collector app for Android smartphones.
- Android 4.4 and up.
Walkit is an urban walking route planner for the West Midlands allowing you to generate optimised A to B walking routes throughout the region. Each route includes a map, a set of written turn-by-turn directions, an estimated walking time and journey distance, a calorie burn amount and an estimated carbon saving. The app can link in with bus, train and tram journeys by planning walking routes from stops and stations to your destination.
Walkit gives you access to free walking route plans in these districts:
Q: What is Workwise travel support?
A: Workwise travel support offers eligible jobseekers and apprentices 50% off selected NWM and NX bus travel passes for up to 3 months when they start a new job, or increase their hours to 16 or more per week if already employed.
A: Our application process may produce an error if any information you have provided isn’t recognised, for example a new address or building. It can also occur if a file you are uploading is too big or in an unrecognised file format. You should e-mail us a screen shot of the error to firstname.lastname@example.org, including details of which part of the application form you encountered it and we will advise you further.
Q: Why do I have to apply online, can't I apply in person or by post?
A: The Workwise discount scheme is administered through transport operators within the West Midlands. The scheme is offered in a similar way to some other Government initiatives, such as Universal Credit, which requires you to apply and manage your account via an online customer portal. Regretfully, this does mean in order to protect public funds, you can only apply for Workwise travel support through our online application process.
Q: Why do I have to provide evidence of my job offer, can’t you call my employer to confirm this?
A: In order to qualify for support under the Workwise travel scheme, applicants are required to prove they meet the eligibility requirements, and as such, it is the applicant’s responsibility to provide us with all the necessary evidence we need to confirm this. We reserve the right to verify the information you provide in your application with your employer or registered job centre, but this is at our discretion and in line with our terms and conditions.
Q: The evidence I want to provide is on-screen or I can’t download it, how do I attach this to the application form?
A: If your evidence is an email or only available on your computer screen and cannot be downloaded as a PDF, DOC or JPG file, you can capture a screenshot of the information on your computer screen, which will to create a static image.
To do this on a Windows-based computer, simply bring up the relevant information on screen and press the PrtScn button on your keyboard. Create a new Microsoft Word Document, and press the keyboard combination of CTRL and V to paste the screen shot into the word document. You should save this word document, giving it an appropriate file name and upload it when required during the application process.
Q: I am self-employed, am I still able to apply?
A: We would welcome applications from applicants who are self-employed. You will need to provide proof of unemployment (if applicable) in the same way. For your proof of job offer, you will need to provide either of one of the following: Official proof of registration as self-employed status, such as a letter from your Accountant (on letter-head) signed and dated.
Q: Can I apply over the phone/e-mail or in person?
A: No, you must apply online.
Q: Can I apply if I’m working a zero-hour contract?
A: Yes, you can still apply if you’re working a zero-hour contract, but you will need to provide proof of job offer as usual. We may contact your employer to confirm your weekly/monthly contracted hours or arrangements.
Q: I’ve been approved for a previous Workwise application this year, can I apply again?
A: No, you can only apply once between 1 April and 31 March in the current year.
Q: I’ve applied for Workwise travel support but I have been declined, I’d like to know why?
A: We reserve the right to reject any applications for Workwise travel support, which do not meet our eligibility criteria, or where the information you have provided in support of your application does not qualify you. You should review the relevant section by clicking here. If you would like to provide any new factual information in support of your application, you need to do this in writing by emailing email@example.com, quoting your Workwise reference number in your email. We will re-assess your application and come back to you with our decision.
Q: Workwise used to provide free travel passes, so why do I have to pay?
A: Funding for the free travel pass has ceased. However, we currently offer 50% off the full-cost price of most NWM and NX bus travel passes for the first 3 months of your new employment.
Q: Can Workwise travel support assist me if my place of work is outside of the West Midlands area?
A: We are unable to assist you with travel support if your place of work is outside of the West Midlands. Please click here to find alternative travel options to travel out of county. Please note, we may reject your application if your place of work is found to be outside of the West Midlands.
Q: Can I claim for travel costs such as taxi, coach or transfers?
A: You will receive an automated email from us with a web page link to make your first month’s discounted Workwise travel pass payment. You must click the link and make payment before the expiry date stated on this email.
A: You will receive an automated email (please also check your SPAM/JUNK folders often) approximately 10 days before your current ticket is due to expire inviting you to make payment for your next month’s travel pass. We will load your purchased ticket onto the original Swift card we sent you. To find your nearest Swift Collector please click here or use the Swift Collector app on Android smartphone.
Q: Will I be issued my Workwise travel pass on Swift card?
A: Yes, you will be issued a Swift card. You must keep the same Swift card we issue you under the Workwise scheme for the 3 month offer period. Your second and third month purchased travel pass will be assigned to the same card for you to collect. Please note Network add-ons are not issued on Swift, but on a paper ticket.
Q: Can I use my existing Swift card?
A: Regretfully, we’re currently unable to use your existing Swift card to issue a Workwise travel pass. We will issue your Workwise travel pass onto a new Swift card.
Q: What do I do if I have an existing Swift card that has credit on it?
A: We may be able to arrange for your new card to start when your credit runs out, or when your existing pass is due to expire. Please contact Ticketing Services on 0345 303 6760 option 1 for further assistance.
Q: How do I register my card on the Swift website?
A: Please visit myswiftcard.com, You will need to enter your personal information during registration and create a username and password to access your online account.
Q: What do I do if I lose my Swift card?
A: Please contact Ticketing Services Team on 0345 303 6760, option 1. A replacement fee will need to be paid by debit or credit card over the telephone.
Your replacement Swift card will expire on the original expiry date. The WMCA does not reimburse the cost of any travel arrangements you incur while waiting for your replacement Swift card to arrive.
Q: What do I do after my Workwise discount has finished?
A: You will need to purchase on-going travel at full-price. We recommend taking a look at our direct debit scheme, which offers the best-value if you’re regularly commuting on public transport in the West Midlands. To find out more, please click here.
Q: I have made payment for my Workwise ticket online, when should it arrive?
A: Your first-month Workwise Swift card can between 3-5 working days to arrive in the post. NOTE: for your second and third month purchase we will top-up your original Workwise Swift account, you will need to visit a Swift Collector to activate your ticket onto your Swift card.
Q: Can you send my travel pass to a new address?
A: When you have clicked on the purchase link to make payment for your travel pass, you will be asked to confirm if your details, including address, have changed. You should update your address details online. Please note, we may need to verify any new information to confirm if you would still be eligible for travel support. As long as you still reside within the eligible area we will try our best to accommodate your request.
Q: I purchased a travel pass before applying for Workwise, can I get reimbursed for this pass or ask you to start my Workwise pass after this one expires?
A: We do not reimburse any travel pass you have purchased prior to or after applying for Workwise travel support. When completing your Workwise application, on step 4 there is an “additional information” box on the bottom of the page where you can leave us any additional notes relating to your application, including any requests. You should add information about an existing pass here and if your application is approved you can state your preferred start date and we will do our best to meet your requirements.
Q: If my job falls through, what do I do with the ticket?
A: You can make one application only per year, so please contact Ticketing Services Team on 0345 303 6760, option 1 for advise.
Q: Can I use my travel pass/Swift card for social purposes?
A: Yes, you can use your ticket for purposes outside of commuting to work.
Q: Will my employer know I have received Workwise travel support?
A: Sometimes it may be necessary to contact your employer to verify your employment details. Workwise reserves the right to contact your employer to verify the information you have provided to determine your eligibility under our scheme.
Q: Do I have to supply a brand new photo or can I use an existing one such as my Photocard?
A: A new digital photograph is required. Your photograph must be passport-sized, full colour and clear focus. Please do not upload a photograph of a photograph, watermarked photos, snapchat photos or filters and black and white.
Q: Once I have purchased all 3 month’s discounted Workwise travel passes, how do I continue buying a travel pass?
A: For a Swift card: You will need to register your card online and top it up with further travel. You may wish to consider our cost-effective Direct Debit scheme, more information available by clicking here.
Q: How do I buy an Add On ticket for the train?
A: Add-On tickets are used only to extend train journey to out-of-county train stations – they cannot be used on the bus. You can buy Add-On tickets for your Network pass from any train station or Travel Information Centre. Please note: Add-On tickets are not eligible for any discount and you would pay full-price for them.
Q: Can more than one person per household be helped?
A: Yes, there are no restrictions to in terms of the number of people who have applied from the same household.
Q: Can someone else apply for Workwise travel support on my behalf?
A: You can seek help from a family member or friend to assist you in applying, but you must ensure you apply within five days of your official start date, and provide the supporting evidence.
Q: Can I apply for Workwise travel support if I don’t have a permanent address?
A: Sorry you cannot. You must meet the criteria under the eligible area as stated within the “Am I Eligible” section.
Q: What if I don’t have a National Insurance number?
A: Unfortunately this would exclude you from Workwise travel support.
Q: What if I am not claiming benefits or my partner claims for the family?
A: You can apply for Workwise travel support whether you are in receipt of benefits or not.
Q: What if I don’t have digital confirmation of my unemployment and/or job offer?
A: If you are missing any information, you will need to upload another file in its place, such as your photograph. Once you have completed your application email us at firstname.lastname@example.org quoting your Workwise application reference number in the subject header. You will need to add a cover note explaining why you weren’t able to upload the required information and attach the missing information to this email. Please note, we reserve the right to refuse or reject an application where sufficient evidence is not provided within a timely manner.
Q: Can I apply for Workwise from my phone or tablet?
A: Although the Network West Midlands website is mobile-friendly, the Workwise application form should be completed using a PC/laptop with the latest version of Google Chrome or Firefox.
If you’d like some more information about how Workwise travel support could help you, contact us on the following:
Tel: 0345 303 6760 and then press option 1.
Write to us: Ticketing Services Team, Transport for West Midlands, 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3SD