Workwise Travel Scheme: Giving you a helping hand to work

Workwise travel support provides eligible jobseekers and apprentices 50% off the full-cost price of most Network West Midlands (NWM) 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.

Before applying, please read the information in the following sections carefully to confirm if Workwise is the right scheme for your needs, and to confirm if you would be eligible for travel support. 

Your application will be assessed in line with the eligibility eligibility, which can be found under the "Am I Eligible" section. You will also be required to proof your eligibility for Workwise travel support, by uploading supporting evidence as part of your application.

All applications must be made online using the online portal. We cannot accept applications made in person or by post.

What is the Workwise travel scheme?

Workwise is a Government funded scheme to help eligible jobseekers and apprentices who have started a new job and will use public transport to travel to work by providing a 50% discount off the full-cost purchase price of eligible NWM travel passes for up to 3 months.

The scheme can also help those who are currently working and are increasing their working hours to 16 or more per week.

How does the scheme work?

Applicants need to apply online for the Workwise travel scheme and will be assessed against the eligibility criteria.

If your application is approved, you will be emailed a special web link allowing you to purchase a NWM travel pass at a discounted rate. You will be sent an individual web link for each of the 3 month’s from the date your application is approved.

Your travel pass (with the exception of a Network add-on) will be provided to you on a contactless Swift card. You will need to keep this card safe for the duration of your discount period of 3 months, as you will need to visit one of our Swift Collectors or use the mySwift app on Android to collect your purchase. Click here to find out more about Swift Collectors.

Plan your journey to work

You can avoid delays and get to work on time by planning your route to work using our interactive Journey Planner. You can also view real-time travel information, including disruptions, changes and service status on our Twitter by following @networkwm.

Am I Eligible?

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. This is the eligible area. Note: You meet the above condition if you are registered with a Jobcentre Plus office within the West Midlands area as above.
  • 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 year.
  • You must apply before or within 5 working days of officially starting your job.
  • Be aged 16 to 65.
  • Provide a valid National Insurance number.
  • Must not be on the Department for Work and Pensions Work Programme, Work Choice or Youth Promise Plus.

Please note, applicants will be required to complete an online form and upload as part of the application process, requested information to confirm your eligibility.

If you need support with completing your application online, please speak to your work coach in the first instance. Alternatively, if you do not have a home PC or laptop, you may wish to visit your local library, or ask a friend or family member for assistance.

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.
  • If you have started your job and it has been more than 5 days since you officially started.
  • If you’ve already received help from us from 1 April to 31 March in the current 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 listed above 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.

How to apply online

You must first read the sections above including “Am I Eligible” to confirm you meet the eligibility criteria of the scheme and if the benefits of the scheme would meet your needs.

You should complete the online application on a PC/laptop using Google Chrome or Firefox web browser. Please note, mobile devices, including tablets, are not fully supported 

You will be asked to enter your personal information and upload supporting documents, including a recent colour, passport-sized photograph.

You should enter your information carefully, taking extra care with spelling and inputting your information. If you need to go back a step, press the “previous” button.

If you feel you are eligible to apply, please click “Apply Online” below to start your application.

Apply Online

Uploading your supporting evidence

You will be required to upload a photograph of yourself and additional supporting evidence as part of the online application form.

Please refer to the following instructions on what you should/shouldn’t upload.

A digital colour photograph of yourself

Please note, you will need to upload a new photograph, even if you have an existing travel pass or photo card with us or another travel operator.

  • You must upload a colour, passport-sized photograph of yourself. Your photograph must meet the following criteria:
  • In JPEG format, in full colour and at least 300 dpi.
  • Up to 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.
  • 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, and photographs with other people in it or obscuring your view.

Proof of unemployment (if applicable)

If you were claiming any kind of benefits, such as Universal Credit, prior to starting your new job, you must upload one of the following evidence of this:

  • In PDF, DOC or JPG format, maximum file size of 5MB.
  • A letter dated within 12 months from Universal Credit, DWP or Job centre confirming your full name and address, and your benefit entitlement or payment schedule.
  • An e-mail from your work coach confirming your full name, national insurance number and benefits claimed and period.
  • Please do not upload: Universal Credit commitment forms, appointment cards, hand-written documents or application forms for benefits.

Please note, if you were not claiming any benefits prior to starting your new job, you will not be required to upload any evidence. You should select the option of "Not Claiming", select the period of time you were unemployed, and then press the "Next" button.

Confirmation of your job offer
We must see official proof of your job offer, please upload one of the following:

  • In PDF, DOC or JPG format, maximum file size of 5MB.
  • A typed letter from your employer on company letter-head, confirming your full name, official start date, contracted hours (weekly or monthly) and job title.
  • A copy of your contract of employment, only if this confirms in writing your full name, official start date and contracted hours.
  • An e-mail from your employer’s HR team or your line manager, confirming the details as per above.
  • Please do not upload: staff rotas or timesheets, job role duties or spec sheets, confirmations of an interview, hand-written documents or text messages.
What if I don't have all the required information?

You will still need to complete your application online, within 5 working days of starting your job.

You will need to upload in place of the information you do not have, your photograph to allow you to continue to the next step.

On Step 4, at the bottom of the page is a text box under the header of "additional information", you should let us know the reason why you don't have all the requested information, and let us know when you expect to receive this.

Once you have successfully submitted your application online, you will be provided with an application reference number on-screen – you must take note of this.

You must then forward the missing evidence to us at quoting your Workwise application reference number in the subject header. A brief note explaining the reason for your email and remember to attach any additional information that is required.

Our Apps

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)

Compatible with:

  • iPhone iOS 7.0+
  • iPod touch iOS 7.0+
  • iPad with iOS 7.0+
  • Android OS 4.0+
  • BlackBerry OS 5+


Search for: NetNav

Compatible with:

  • Android 4.0+
  • iPhone iOS 7.0+
  • iPad iOS 7.0+


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:

  • Birmingham
  • Coventry
  • Dudley
  • Sandwell
  • Solihull
  • Walsall
  • Wolverhampton

Q: What is Workwise travel support?

A: Workwise travel support provides eligible jobseekers and apprentices 50% off eligible Network West Midlands 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.

Q: When applying online I can’t get past certain sections and receive an error, what should I do?

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, 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 public funds, received through Government and via agreement with travel operators. The scheme is offered in a similar way to other Government initiatives, such as Universal Credit, which requires an online application and management of your account. Regretfully, this does mean in order to protect public funds, we can only offer Workwise through an online application.

Q: Why do I have to provide evidence of benefits or job offer, can’t you call my job coach/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 cannot be downloaded as a PDF, DOC or JPG file, you can screenshot your screen to create a static image of what you have up on your monitor. To do this on a Windows-based computer, simply press the PrtScn button on your keyboard. Create a new Word Document in Microsoft Word, and press the keyboard combination of CTRL + V to paste the screen shot into the word document. You should save this file with an appropriate name and then upload this into the application form.

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.  You can also ask your work coach to confirm in writing (on letter-head) or by email from their official email address – confirming the date you were registered self-employed and confirmation of your company name.

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: Your application for Workwise travel support will be assessed against the eligibility criteria as set out under the “Am I Eligible” section. We reserve the right to refuse an application if the information you have provided cannot be verified or if you do not meet the minimum eligibility criteria as set out above.

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 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: Unfortunately, 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.

Q: Can I claim for travel costs such as taxi, coach or transfers?

A: Unfortunately, we are unable to cover the costs of additional travel including taxi’s or coach transfers.

Q: I have received an email advising me my application has been approved, what should I do now?

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.

Q: How do I pay for my second and third month discounted tickets?

A: You will receive an automated email (please also check your SPAM/JUNK folders often) approximately 10 days before your first month ticket is due to expire inviting you to make payment for your second month 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.

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. You will be sent a new Swift card to use exclusively for your Workwise travel pass.

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: 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: Can I top-up the Workwise Swift card with credit?

A: We would strongly advise not to purchase any additional ticket, or credit any top-up to this Swift card during the 3-month period you’re entitled to Workwise travel support. After the 3 month period, you can login to your Swift account and review available travel passes and options.

Q: What do I do if I lose my Swift card?

A: Contact the Customer Service Centre on 0121 214 7436. 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: 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. We will post it to the address provided in your Workwise application. NOTE: for your second and third month purchase we will top-up your original Workwise Swift card, you will need to visit a Swift Collector to activate your ticket to 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 Workwise 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.

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

Q: What if I don’t have digital confirmation of my unemployment and/or job offer?

A: You will need to upload another file, such as your photograph in its place. Once you have completed your application email us at 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 provide this by email to us. 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.


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

Follow us on...

Swift Pay As You Go

If you pay cash fares to travel, PAYG is the smarter and cheaper way to travel by bus and tram in the West Midlands.

Find out more