Giving you a helping hand to work

Workwise travel support gives eligible jobseekers and apprentices 50% off most 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. 

Before you can apply, you must read the “Important Applicant Information” section below.

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

Important Applicant Information (Eligibility Criteria)

You must read this section carefully before applying, if you are unsure of your eligibility, please call us on 0121 214 7436 or e-mail for assistance as soon as possible.

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 working less than 16 hours per week prior to applying for workwise travel support
  • 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 new employment or apprenticeship


  • Be aged 16 to 65
  • Provide a valid National Insurance Number
  • Provide a valid contact number and e-mail address
  • 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
  • Must not be on the Department for Work and Pensions Work Programme, Work Choice or Youth Promise Plus

Important information if your place of work is outside of the West Midland area

We do not provide travel support, including a discount for (any combination of) bus, train or tram travel passes for travel outside of the West Midlands area.

For your reference, click here to see the rail network map, which will show you the West Midlands Travel Zones and some of the out of county stations.

You may be able to purchase a travel pass, such as an nBus Regional or nNetwork Zones 1-5 to take you up to the border bus stop or train stations, but beyond this point you will need to pay for your onward travel, including return travel.

If you have any further questions about the Network West Midlands travel passes, please e-mail us at for further 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 already commenced employment and you have not applied within 5 days of your start date
  • If you’ve already received help from us from 1st April to 31st 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 (see above section)

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 travel pass to use within the Network West Midlands area.

Discounts are available for nBus 'bus only' and nNetwork 'bus, train and tram' travel passes. Discounts are currently not available on out-of-county travel passes, and 'train only' travel passes, but you may find that purchasing discounted 'bus, train and tram' travel pass is less expensive than a full price 'train only' travel pass for the first three months.

How to Apply

All applications for workwise travel support must be made online through our application portal.

You must first read the “Important Applicant Information” section to ensure you meet the criteria.

As part of the application form, you will be asked for your personal information, including your new employer information, and proof of unemployment (if applicable).

In addition to this, you will also be asked to upload physical digital formats of the following evidence:

A digital colour photograph of yourself
Your photograph must be:

  • In JPEG format, at least 300 dpi
  • 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 snap chat filters
  • Please do not upload: a photograph of a photograph, any watermarked images or zoomed-out photographs

Proof of unemployment (if applicable)
If you were claiming any kind of benefits, such as Universal Credit prior to starting work, you will need to show evidence of this, such as:

  • 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

Confirmation of your job offer
We must see evidence of your job offer, which can be:

  • A letter from your employer on letter-head, confirming your full name, official start date, contracted hours (weekly or monthly) and appointment to role
  • 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 time sheets, job role duties or spec sheets, confirmations of an interview or any other evidence which does not confirm the information as per above

NOTE: You should upload a physical file, such as a PDF, DOC or JPEG file format. We cannot accept links to online cloud services, such as One Drive or Google Drive. Your file should be less than 4MB where possible and in the correct format otherwise the application system may reject your file.

I don’t have all the information I need to upload, can I still apply?

You should apply once you have all the information required as part of the application process, but you must apply either before or within 5 days of your official start date.  If you are awaiting information, such as job offer proof from your employer, you should still apply online and when asked to upload your job offer proof, in its place, upload your digital colour photograph, and add a note into the “additional information” box at the bottom of that page letting us know why you have not provided the correct evidence.

If you need assistance, please call us on 0121 214 2787 or e-mail Please note it is the applicant’s responsibility to provide all the information we have asked for and to apply within the time scales given as per our eligibility criteria.

What happens next?

Once you have successfully submitted your online application, you will be given a Workwise application reference number on screen, which you must take note of or print the page.

We will assess your application against the Workwise eligibility criteria, if your application is approved, we will send you an e-mail to confirm this with further instructions on how to purchase your first-month discounted ticket.

If your application is rejected, you will receive an e-mail advising you of this.

If we require further information from you, or if you have not provided all the required information, we will e-mail you requesting additional information.

It is very important that you provide a valid and contactable e-mail address for yourself in your application form. Please check your spam/junk folder as e-mails may be filtered by your e-mail provider.

You will also find useful answers in our FAQ section below, including how your ticket will be issued to you, and what to do if your circumstances change.

To start your application, click “Apply online” below.

Apply online


Q: What is workwise travel support?

A: Workwise travel support gives eligible jobseekers and apprentices 50% off eligible Network West Midlands travel passes for up to three 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’m encountering an “error 500” and cannot proceed, what should I do?

A: Our application process may error if information you enter isn’t recognised, for example a post code or address, or if the file you are uploading is too big or not the correct 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: Can I apply over the phone/e-mail or in person?

A: No, you must apply online 

Q: I’ve been approved for a previous Workwise application this year, can I apply again?

A: No, you can only apply once between 1st April and 31st March in the current year. 

Q: I’ve applied for Workwise travel support but have been declined, I’d like to know why?

A: Your application for Workwise travel support will be assessed against the eligibility criteria, found under the “Important Applicant Information” section. If you do not meet this criteria we are unable to approve your application.

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 most travel passes at 50% discount for the first three 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, not.  Please refer to the “Important Applicant Information” section for further information. 

Q: I have paid for my ticket online, when should it arrive?

A: Your ticket can take up between 3-5 working days to arrive to you, after this period of time has passed contact the Customer Service Centre on 0121 214 7436 for an update.

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 Swift card we issue you for the three month period, as for the second and third month we will ask you to collect your ticket using a Swift Collector. 

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 is due to expire as it may not be reasonable to replace travel passes which have a short validity period left on them.

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: Can I use my existing Swift card?

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 will issue your Workwise travel pass onto a new Swift card, which we will also use for the second and third month discounted ticket.

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 sufficient 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 and under the “Apply Online” section.

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

Q: Once I have purchased all three month’s discounted Workwise travel passes, how do I continue buying a travel pass? 

A: For a Swift card: You can 
register your card online and top it up with further travel. You may wish to consider our cost-effective Direct Debit scheme. 

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 nNetwork 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 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. You must also live within an eligible area, please see “Important Application Information” section for further information.

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 may need to upload your photograph again in this section to allow you to continue.

Once your application has been successfully submitted, you will need to contact your work coach or the DWP to obtain proof of your benefits and claim term to send us by e-mail at This may delay your application while we are awaiting additional information from you.

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 most 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: Although our web site is mobile friendly, you may encounter issues trying to complete the application form, including uploading files. We recommend you complete the application form using a PC or Laptop, using 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


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