The newly formed Wheels to Work Association (W2WA), which represents UK travel to work schemes, is holding its first annual conference at the National Liberal Club in Whitehall Place, London on Thursday, January 17.
Ministers and officials from both the Department for Transport and DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) are expected to be present.
Wheels to Work schemes provide transport in the form of mopeds, scooters or bicycles to mostly young people aged 16 – 25, allowing them to access employment or training, where public transport is not available. A lack of public or personal transport is often cited by young people as a reason why they can’t take jobs or attend college. This is often a particular problem in rural areas.
The association was recently formed following the award of a grant from the Department for Transport (DfT) to the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) to fund national coordination and the formation of a Wheels to Work association.
The association is seen as key to bringing together the current schemes, exchanging and sharing ideas and to help achieve longer term sustainability. The objectives of the association will be to ensure good governance, the sharing of best practice and the development of sustainable formats. Most UK Wheels to Work schemes are members.
Steve Kenward, chairman of the W2WA board, said: “Helping young people into employment and training is a priority for the government. The Wheels to Work Association is proud to have this facilitating role, as these schemes are proven to work where access to transport is the barrier to taking up opportunities. We look forward to helping and supporting local Wheels to Work schemes in a more structured way and also to continue a dialogue with Government on Wheels to Work related issues”.