Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has confirmed the first in a series of new measures to support young people in the city-region affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Mayor confirmed that, during an online event to hear views from younger residents, the free local bus travel scheme, Our Pass, would resume for new applications from 1st July. School leavers will be able to start using the travel card from September as they commence the next step in their education and careers, and a proposal for care leavers to be able to access the scheme up to age 21 has been brought forward.
The scheme, which has been designed based on input from young people in the city-region, provides free bus travel and reduced tram travel as well as exclusive offers and experiences including career taster events. The Our Pass scheme is now calling for more businesses to get involved with the scheme to provide opportunities as part of Greater Manchester’s economic recovery following the coronavirus lockdown.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:
It’s more important than ever to support young people. As a city-region we need everyone to get involved and I’m appealing today to all Greater Manchester businesses to make an offer to young people via Our Pass to help them through the crisis.
“Young people are at risk of being a lost generation if we don’t put in place the support they need now and as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why I’ve asked Diane Modahl to chair the Young Person’s Task Force and develop our Young Person’s Guarantee.
“We are committed to supporting all our young people to have the best start in life. As part of our Care Leavers Guarantee and Core Offer, from the start of September, Greater Manchester care leavers aged 18 -21 will have the same benefits as Our Pass holders – free bus travel and access to Our Pass exclusive offers.
“Our Pass will continue to play a vital role as we develop the city region’s Young Person Guarantee. Before lockdown we had 39,000 active users, who between them took advantage of a range of experience and made more than 7.4 million journeys across Greater Manchester. I’m delighted Our Pass will be refreshed and ready for even more members to use from this September.
“I am also announcing today that those young people who were part of the first year of Our Pass will also have their access to Our Pass exclusive offers extended for a year. We’ll be saying more about all of this and how people can access offers next month.”
Diane Modahl, Chair of the Greater Manchester Young Person’s Task Force, said:
I’ve been engaging with young people and listening to what they need which will inform the Young Person’s Guarantee that I’m developing. Many Greater Manchester businesses have stepped-up to the challenge and demonstrated their social values during this pandemic, to both employees and customers alike.
“Now we’re calling on them to play their part in getting involved & making sure we don’t have a lost generation of young people. The Our Pass team are actively seeking opportunities from all types of business no matter how big or small. We need to rally around our young people and show them we mean business.”