• Our Pass is creating six roles for young people: 4 Kick Start places and 2 apprenticeships.
  • It’s part of a support programme launched by The Growth Company to help organisations in Greater Manchester benefit from the government’s £2bn Kickstart scheme.
  • Our Pass has over 40,000 active members. Since its launch, in September 2019, members have made more than 9 million journeys.
  • The Growth Company are also working with Our Pass to develop a social enterprise -managed by young people - when the pilot, which is still in place, comes to an end.
  • In addition, a series of online skills talks will be launched this Autumn. The talks, led by Our Pass members, will help young people plan for their futures.

Our Pass has announced it will employ four young people in ambassador roles, leading to two full time apprenticeships.

The six-month paid work placements will see successful applicants engaging with young people in schools and colleges to deliver social media, event management and community support. The Growth Company will help administer the Kickstart scheme and apprenticeships. The paid placements will start in 2021, with two guaranteed apprenticeships for young people.

The Growth Company are also working with Our Pass and Co-operatives UK to develop a strategy that would enable young people - and critically the Our Pass members - to take greater control of the delivery of Our Pass at the end of the pilot.

Designed by and made for young people, more than 60,000 cards have been issued since the Our Pass pilot began. Our Pass cards have also been issued to 242 care leavers across Greater Manchester since the 1st September 2020. The cards give care leavers the same benefits as those who qualify for Our Pass up to their 21st birthday.

The new schemes will see young people being supported to take a greater lead in Our Pass. This autumn Our Pass will also launch a series of online careers events, hosted by the young people themselves.

The announcement comes as former Our Pass lead Rose Marley steps out of the management team. Rose remains committed to the schemes success and will work with Co‑operatives UK, where she has recently been appointed CEO, to continue to support the development of Our Pass as a young member led organisation.

Liam Scholes, Chair of Greater Manchester’s Youth Combined Authority, said: “Our Pass is really changing the lives of Greater Manchester’s young people. As a GMYCA member I was able to get involved in designing and setting the vision for Our Pass, I’m now an active member using the bus and other offers and discounts it gives young people like me.

“Covid is a really tough time for everyone so it’s great that Our Pass is giving young people support to get into work. I’m also really looking forward to being involved in the series of online life skills events for Our Pass members starting this month. I know they’ll help; I can’t wait to get started.”

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “When I first had the vision for this scheme, spurred on by consultation with young people, I never dreamed we could have the support we have from Manchester City and United to the BBC and ITV, Co-op and Vimto, JD to Les Mills and then the leisure centres and theatres too. And it’s making a difference, it’s transforming lives, education, and aspiration and now we’re training and employing young people, that surely is the greatest opportunity we could offer? I couldn’t be prouder.”

Rose Marley, lead for Our Pass, said: “It has been an absolute honour to work alongside Andy Burnham to develop this unique proposition for Greater Manchester, but now it’s time to significantly develop the proposition for when the pilot phase is complete.

“Despite the pandemic we’ve been able to develop a blue print of opportunity that can now be enhanced by these additional roles that only young people can deliver, so the next phase of the pilot will enable us to test handing greater responsibility to young people as a genuine working proposition.”

The only scheme of its kind in the UK, Our Pass supports young people at a crucial moment in their lives. For a one-off £10 administration fee, young people who have just left school get two key things: free travel on buses across Greater Manchester, making getting to college, training or into work possible. And exclusive offers and experiences that range from retail discounts and event tickets to careers talks, tasters and workshops.

Cllr Sean Fielding, GMCA’s Employment, Skills and Digital lead, said: “Pre-pandemic we were seeing more and more young people were travelling by bus. With an average of more than 300,000 journeys per week, we were really starting to see a shift in attitude to young people and public transport which is a key objective of the pilot.

“It’s really important to develop Our Pass to be adaptable to the current situation and listen to young people when they call for action to challenges like climate change. That’s why it’s vital opportunities like the Our Pass ambassador roles are created to enable young people to have a bigger say in their future.”

Cllr Eamonn O'Brien, Portfolio Lead for Children & Young People, added: “Use of Our Pass has increased significantly since young people returned to education at the start of September. There will continue to be considerable practical issues to consider for Our Pass, not only during the latest lockdown but how we come out of this. That’s why it’s vital we support young people in Greater Manchester and create new opportunities for them. I’m really looking forward to meeting and working with Our Pass’s new ambassadors.”

Young people can find out more about the opportunities by following Our Pass on social media where the application process will be announced in the next few weeks.


Article Published: 11/11/2020 09:59 AM