For more than a decade, c2c has been operating a scheme that offers free travel to job interviews and for new job starters to help encourage unemployed people to take jobs that involve commuting. In 2013 alone, more than £160,000 worth of free travel was given away under the scheme.
Partnership with Job Centre Plus
c2c has established a close-working relationship with Job Centre Plus to administer the scheme. Local job seekers are eligible for up to six free tickets to interviews organised through the Job Centre. New starters receive two months' free travel on c2c trains if they found their new role through the Job Centre.
The scheme means that job seekers are not put off potential interviews because they would have to fund their own travel, while new starters are assisted through that difficult stage where they have begun working but have yet to receive their first pay cheque.
Extending Job Start to the private sector
In summer 2013, c2c extended the Job Start scheme to its first private sector partner, Lloyds Bank. When Lloyds announced it was closing its call centre near Southend East station in May 2013, up to 800 local staff potentially faced redundancy. c2c worked with Lloyds to extend the Job Start scheme to affected employees, meaning they were able to take advantage while still in work, and it was applicable to all jobs, not just those advertised through the Job Centre.
The initiative helped many of these employees find new roles which may have been further afield than they had initially considered, and over £13,000 of free tickets were given away to affected staff.