Get on your bike initative to help people in Scunthorpe and district get back to work
A new council scheme is being launched to help people get to work.
The Wheels to Work initiative will see North Lincolnshire Council hire scooters or bicycles to those having difficulty accessing employment, training or education.
Aimed primarily at young people, the scheme looks to help increase employment levels and access to better skills.
Council bosses say it will benefit those who are currently unable to get to jobs or education centres because they cannot access public transport.
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The scheme will also give people more opportunities to consider shift work or work unsociable hours.
The authority has joined forces with the Scunthorpe Telegraph for the Your Life, Your Future campaign, which aims to raise aspirations and increase employment.
Councillor Liz Redfern, the leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: "Transport is not going to be a barrier in North Lincolnshire, so if you have got problems with getting to a new job, we are running this scheme.
"We think it is a good idea and it gives young people the flexibility of working.
"It is another part of the jigsaw of supporting our young people in looking for jobs at locations they thought they could never look at."
The scheme is expected to be up and running by Christmas, with an initial 10 scooters and 20 bicycles on offer.
Scooter hirers would pay £100 for the first month and £60 for each month afterwards.
The cost is to include insurance, compulsory basic training and safety equipment, such as a helmet.
Bicycles will be hired out at a nominal charge.
Mrs Redfern said: "It is a fixed fee, which helps budget for what your costs of getting to work are and you can get to work with a greater degree of flexibility."
The council is to invest £16,400 in the scheme, which will come from its community transport funding budget. A tendering exercise is under way to find a provider for the scooters.
The scheme will run for a year, with initial hire periods of six months.
Wheels to Work schemes are already run in Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire.
Alicia Snow, 17, who is an apprentice admin assistant with the council, said she supported the scheme.
She said: "I think it is a good idea, especially for apprentices my age who haven't passed their driving test yet.
"There is no excuse now for us not to go to work.
"Cars are expensive and insurance costs are a killer, so this is a cheaper, easier way. I am very fortunate that my mum comes this way to work but this could be ideal for me if she was going out of her way."
31 YEARS LATER
The Wheels to Work scheme comes 31 years after Lord Norman Tebbit’s call for the jobless to “get on your bike” and look for work.
Lord Tebbit was appointed Employment Secretary in 1981. He famously responded to a suggestion that riots were a natural reaction to unemployment.
He said: “I grew up in the 30s with an unemployed father. He didn’t riot. He got on his bike and looked for work. And he kept looking until he found it."