Information for jobseekers

What we offer

If you’re currently out of work, then WorkWise can help. WorkWise supports unemployed people in the West Midlands to overcome travel barriers when you find new employment.

 We can help with:

  • Free travel information and journey planning
  • A free four week travel ticket for your new job
Eligibility criteria

To benefit from the WorkWise scheme, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Live in a West Midlands local authority area: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton
  • Be unemployed prior to applying for travel support

If you’re applying for the four week travel pass you must:

  • Have not received WorkWise travel to work help twice between 1 April 2016 and 30 March 2017
  • Be starting a job working 16 hours or more per week

Please note that you must complete a WorkWise application form online within five working days of starting your new job.

We’re sorry but WorkWise 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 support if you don’t abide by our terms and conditions

Free four week travel pass

Congratulations on finding a new job! WorkWise will provide you with a free four week travel pass valid within the Network West Midlands area.

How to Apply

Check you're eligible using the information above. You will also need 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.

Once you're ready..

Apply online


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

A: Your ticket should take 3-5 days to process, after this period of time has passed contact WorkWise on: 0121 214 7436 for an update on the progress of your application.

Q: What if my ticket is not suitable for my journey?

A: Your travel requirements are based on your home address and your place of employment. You may be able to claim a different type of ticket if the one you were issued was not the most appropriate for your journey, contact WorkWise on the general enquiries number: 0121 214 7436.

Q: What if my WorkWise Swift card does not work?

A: If there is a problem with your Swift card contact WorkWise on the general enquiries number: 0121 214 7436.

Q: What do I do if I lose my ticket?

A: WorkWise can replace lost or stolen Swift cards, 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, we are unable to issue more than your entitlement of four weeks travel support.

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

A: The system is being developed for this to be possible, until then we can only issue new cards.

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 WorkWise on 0121 214 7436

Q: If my job falls through, what do I do with the ticket?

A: You can continue to use your free travel pass, and you may also be eligible for another one if you start a new job.

Q: Can I use my ticket for social purposes?

A: Yes you can use you ticket for purposes outside of commuting to work. There are no restrictions on your pass.

Q: Will my employer know I have received help from WorkWise?

A: Sometimes it may be necessary for WorkWise or the Job Centre to contact your employer to confirm that you are either starting work or have a job interview. However if you provide supporting documentation with your application we will not have to contact your employer. WorkWise 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: WorkWise prefer if you supply a new photograph.

Q: How do I buy further tickets?

A: You can register your card online and top it up with further travel: 

Q: How do I buy an Add On ticket for the train?

A: Swift does not cover train travel, if you qualify for free train travel the pass will be provided to you will cover your journey requirements. If you do not qualify you will need to purchase a separate train ticket

Q: Can more than one person per household be helped?

A: Yes, there are no restrictions to WorkWise in terms of the number of people who have applied from the same household.

Q: Can I use any photo of myself? What are the guidelines around photos?

A: The guidelines around photos can be read in full on our website.

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 from any regular computer.

Q: Can someone else apply for WorkWise on my behalf?

A: Your Jobcentre Plus work coach may be able to help you apply for WorkWise, if you are with a pre-employment training provider they can also assist if they signed as a referral partner to WorkWise.

 Q: Can I apply for WorkWise if I don’t have a permanent address?

 A: You should apply for WorkWise using the address that you will be commuting to work from. Proof that this is your address must be supplied to the JCP or pre-employment training provider.

Q: What if I don’t have a National Insurance number?

A: Unfortunately this would exclude you from WorkWise support.

Q: What if I am not claiming benefits? Or my partner claims for the family?

A: You can apply for WorkWise support if you are in receipt of benefits or not.

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. WorkWise 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: How do I apply for WorkWise?

A: Log on to, for a four week travel pass. 

Q: Am I eligible for WorkWise support?

A: If you live in the West Midlands, are signing off benefits and starting employment of over 16 hours or more a week then you may be eligible. Applications must be made to WorkWise within 5 working days of starting employment.

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

A: You can renew your pass online, or go to any Pay Zone/travel shops. WorkWise only provides one month of free travel so you would need to fund any future tickets yourself.

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

A: WorkWise is not able to cover travel costs whilst you wait for your ticket to arrive, your Job Centre work coach may be able to provide help. Please contact your work coach 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. This will allow you to update your details.

Contact us

If you’d like some more information about how the scheme can help you, contact us on the following:

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


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