Giving you a helping hand to work

Workwise travel support gives eligible jobseekers and apprentices 50% off Network West Midlands travel passes for up to three months when they start a new job. You can also apply if you are increasing your hours to 16 or more. 

To apply, just check the eligibility criteria below, gather the required documents and apply online. 

Eligibility criteria

The Customer must:

  • Live in a West Midlands Local Authority area: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton. This is the eligible area.
    • you meet the above condition if you are registered with a Jobcentre Plus office within the West Midlands area as above 
  • Be unemployed or working less than 16 per week prior to applying for workwise travel support
  • Have not received workwise travel support for new employment between 1st April and 31st March in the current year.
  • Be aged 16 to 65
  • Provide a valid National Insurance Number
  • Be working a total minimum of 16 hours per week
  • Ensure they apply before or within 5 working days of starting new employment or apprenticeship
  • Provide a recent passport style photograph
  • Must not be on the Department for Work and Pensions Work Programme, Work Choice or Youth Promise Plus

We’re sorry but workwise travel support can’t help:

  • 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

Criteria for disqualification

You won’t be able to receive workwise travel support if you don’t abide by our terms and conditions

Apply Online

Congratulations on finding a job! You will now be able to apply for a discounted Network West Midlands ticket to use within the Network West Midlands area.

How to Apply

  1. Check that you live within the West Midlands local authority area: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton
  2. Check that you meet all the eligibility criteria listed in the drop down list above
  3. Make sure you have the following documents to hand.
  • Proof of unemployment.
  • Your National Insurance (NI) number.
  • Confirmation of your job offer. This could be in the form of a letter or email.
  • An image of yourself in a passport style for use on your pass.

Apply online


Q: What do I do if I do not receive my ticket?

A: Your ticket can take up to 10 days to process, after this period of time has passed contact the Customer Service Centre on 0121 214 7436 for an update on the progress of your application.

Q: What if my Swift card does not work?

A: Contact the Customer Service Centre on 0121 214 7436.

Q: What do I do if I lose my ticket?

A: Contact the Customer Service Centre on 0121 214 7436.  Lost or stolen travel passes and Swift cards can be replaced but please take into consideration when your card was due to expire as it may not be reasonable to replace due to the remaining few days left on the card.

Your replacement travel pass/Swift card will expire on the original expiry date on the lost travel pass/Swift card. A replacement fee of £7.50 will be payable by credit or debit card at the time of notifying West Midlands Combined Authority. 

Q: I already have a Swift card, why do I need another one?

A: The 50% discount offer cannot be transferred onto your current Swift card yet, but we are working to make this possible. Until then we can only issue new cards. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

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, contact the Customer Service Centre on 0121 214 7436.

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 Customer Service Centre on 0121 214 7436 for advice.

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. There are no restrictions on your travel pass/Swift card.

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. 

However, if you provide supporting documentation with your application we will not have to contact your employer. Network West Midlands reserves the right to contact employers to verify information provided on application forms.

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. Guidance on acceptable photos is provided on the application portal.

Q: How do I buy further passes once workwise support has finished?

A: For a Swift card: You can register your card online and top it up with further travel.

For a paper network pass: you can use your photo card to purchase further passes from any train station, travel agent or Travel Information Centre.

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.

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 need to make the application yourself. Your Jobcentre Plus work coach can provide assistance with your application, but it is your responsibility and you are liable for the information provided on the application form.

 Q: Can I apply for workwise travel support if I don’t have a permanent address?

 A: Sorry you cannot. You need to provide the address where you live and where you will be travelling to work. This is where your travel pass/Swift card will be sent to.

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. We require a self-certification from you if you are on benefits.

Q: What if I don’t have digital confirmation of unemployment benefits?

A: You will be able to continue through the application process but you will be advised there may be a delay in confirming your eligibility for free travel. The Ticketing Delivery Team will have to investigate further what information would be required for you to be eligible and a decision would be made based on this.

Q: My pass is expiring soon/has expired, how do I renew?

A: After you have purchased your travel pass/Swift card you can renew your Swift card online, or go to any Pay Zone/Travel Information Centres.

Q: How am I to pay for the transport until my workwise travel pass arrives? 

A: Workwise is not able to cover travel costs whilst you wait for your ticket to arrive. Your Jobcentre work coach may be able to provide help. Please contact your Job Centre for further information.

Q: How do I register my card on the Swift website?

A: Please visit, you will be asked to enter your card number and postcode to access your account. 

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 have a new offer for travel passes at 50% discount for the first three months of your new employment. 

Q: Can I apply for workwise from my phone or tablet?

A: Yes, the workwise website works just as well from your phone or tablet as it does on any regular computer.



Contact us

If you’d like some more information about how workwise travel support could help you, contact us on the following:

Tel: 0121 214 7436
Write to us: WorkWise, 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3SD


Our team works closely with Jobcentres across the West Midlands.

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