Young people in Lancashire who are not in employment, education or training will continue to travel free on public transport until March 2017.
Lancashire County Council allocated £1m a year for five years to provide support for the travel costs of young people to help them into education, employment and training in February 2012.
Later that year, the cabinet agreed to introduce a scheme to offer free bus travel within a specific travel area to all young people between the age of 16 to 18 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
The scheme also included young parents and young carers in the same age bracket.
The county council then decided to extend the scheme until August 31 this year.
During the first nine months of the scheme, 3,631 passes were issued to 1,004 qualifying young people at an estimated cost of £268,080. Of these participants, 28 per cent have gone into training, education or employment.
At a meeting of Lancashire County Council’s cabinet earlier this month, it was agreed to extend the scheme again.
Cabinet members also decided:
• Young parents and young carers classified as NEET who currently participate in the scheme will receive an additional three month’s free travel on entering full time employment, training or education from this November until March 31, 2017.
• The current scheme will be extended to include young people between the age of 16 and 18 who are on an apprenticeship scheme organised by the county council
• Options will be looked at to extend the scheme to include young people on apprenticeships not organised by the council
County Coun Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “The main idea behind the scheme is to support the many other county council initiatives to reduce the number of young people who aren’t in employment, education or training.
“Employment officers tell us the cost of travelling on public transport can be a real problem when placing young people with a prospective employer.
“This scheme will provide significant financial help to young people and will also allow them greater flexibility in choosing the location of their placement.”