New scheme to help young people access work and training

Oxfordshire Wheels 2 Work is designed to support young people aged 16 to 19 who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) and live, work or attend college in the South and Vale Districts.

'Wheels to Work' is a moped leasing scheme aimed at helping young people overcome a travel barrier to training or work where no public transport exist or services do not run outside of ‘office hours’.

Oxfordshire Wheels 2 Work will provide the loan of a moped along with training, insurance and safety equipment to those people in need of help getting to work, education or training. The vehicles loaned will be checked every 6 weeks to ensure they are safe and reliable.

The scheme is being funded from an £80,000 award secured by the County Council from the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The County Council were awarded this money to fund the Wheels to Work Scheme in the south of Oxfordshire.

Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Cabinet Member for Environment said: “I am delighted that the County Council have been successful in securing these funds to support our young people access vital training programmes and employment opportunities in the south of the county. We hope the programme is a success and will in time be spread out across the whole county.”

The social enterprise that currently runs the identical scheme in Devon, the ‘Devon Wheels to Work programme’, will be tasked with the delivery of the Oxfordshire programme from our new ‘Oxfordshire Wheels to Work’ centre in Abingdon.

Max Jowett of Devon Wheels 2 Work said: "We are very pleased to have won the contract to deliver this brand new Wheels 2 Work programme in Oxfordshire. We are bringing with us many years of practical experience of working in this field and look forward to working in partnership Oxfordshire County Council and with other local groups to deliver this programme for local people."

Devon Wheels 2 Work will be engaging with local colleges, training providers, work programme providers and job centre plus to offer the scheme to potential clients.

The Oxfordshire Wheels to work scheme will consist of 15 mopeds purchased and then leased for 6 month periods (or per 12 month lease period where the young person is undertaking an apprenticeship) to young people currently not in education, employment or training, or at risk of dropping out of learning due to transport difficulties. This would be a trial in the South & Vale with a view to developing it into a social enterprise in future years.

For more information

Anyone interested in applying or finding out more about the scheme can: