Perks and Benefits

There are many discounts and perks available to apprentices in England. Find out about the retail and travel schemes you can access as part of your apprenticeship.

Kat Shawcross  | Business Development Manager

From travelling to work, to shopping and events… we have it covered! We have pulled together the latest perks and benefits which you can access as an apprentice. These range from discounts at some of your favourite high-street retailers, to the travel schemes which are available in your local area.

Be sure to keep an eye on this and check in regularly, because we are constantly on the look out for anything new which may be available to you.

The schemes are offered by organisations which are completely independent from Damar Training and are subject to change. The information below was correct as of November 2020.

Available to All

Everything listed below is currently available to apprentices across England, regardless of region.

NUS Extra – for all apprentices

The NUS Apprentice Extra card gets you so much more than just travel discounts, it also gets you discounts from the likes of Amazon, Dominos, Alton Towers and many more! The card costs just £11 for 12 months, and is a great way to stretch your hard-earned cash a little further. You can find out more on their website.

Railcards – for 16-25 year olds

If you are going to be travelling by train, then why not invest in a 16-25 Railcard? The card costs £30, and will entitle you to one third off rail fares. People who have a 16-25 Railcard save an average of £189 per year, and have access to lots of other exciting rewards with the Railcard’s partners. For more information, please visit their website.

Another option for those travelling between the same two stations, would be to purchase weekly, monthly or annual passes. Doing this will work out much cheaper than buying return tickets each day, and generally, the longer the pass, the cheaper each individual journey will be. You can use National Rail’s Season Ticket Calculator to see how much money you could save.

Tax Relief – for home-owners and home-workers

These may not be relevant to everyone, however, you could claim different forms of tax relief if…

  • You are 18 or over, and own/rent your own home

If this is the case, and you earn less than £195 per week on your apprenticeship, then you can apply for a Council Tax reduction. For more information, please visit this website.

  • You have been required to work from home for just one day during this financial year

If you earn more than £12,500 per year (the personal allowance threshold) and have been required to work from home for just one day since April 6th 2020, then you are able to claim tax relief for the whole year. This works out as an extra £62 in your pocket over the course of the year, and as they say, every little helps! You can find out more information here, and apply on the Government website.  

Greater Manchester

The following schemes are only available to apprentices who are based in Greater Manchester. Before travelling on public transport in the region, please familiarise yourself with the latest travel advice and remember to wear a face covering. This will help to ensure both your own and others’ safety.

Our Pass – for 16-18 year olds

Our Pass is a pilot scheme which has been introduced for 16-18 year olds across Greater Manchester. It entitles you to free travel on most buses across the region (full list here), as well as exclusive access to events, offers and discounts. The pass has a one-off £10 administration fee, and you can apply for one on the Our Pass website.

Bike to Work Scheme – for all ages

If you are considering cycling to work, then you should definitely take advantage of the Apprentice Bike to Work Scheme, organised by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). The Scheme entitles you to a refurbished bike, plus a helmet, bike-lock, lights and a high vis jacket – all of which are free to keep after 3 months! If this is of interest to you, then please contact info@damartraining.com and we will issue you with an application form.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) also offer free ‘cycle confidence’ sessions for both new and experienced cyclists. These cover everything, from learning to ride a bike, to becoming more familiar with cycling on the road.

Liverpool

The following are only available to apprentices who are based in Liverpool. Before using public transport in the region, please familiarise yourself with the latest travel advice and remember to wear a face covering. This will help to ensure both your own and others’ safety.

Apprentice Travelcard – for 19-24 year olds

Merseytravel’s Apprentice Travelcard entitles 19-24 year olds in the Liverpool City Region to 50% off travel when buying weekly/monthly passes. For more information and how to apply, please visit the Merseytravel website.

16+ photocard – for 16-21 year olds

Arriva’s 16+ photocard entitles those who are aged 16-21 to discounted bus fares on Arriva services in Merseyside and Lancashire (£1.80 flat fares for a single trip). For more information and how to apply, please visit the Arriva website.

London

The following are only available to apprentices who are based in London. Before using public transport in the region, please familiarise yourself with the latest travel advice and remember to wear a face covering. This will help to ensure both your own and others’ safety.

16+ Zip Oyster photocard – for 16-17 year olds

If you were aged 16 or 17 on August 31st 2020, then you can apply for a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard. The card entitles you to free travel on buses and trams, and 50% off adult pay-as-you-go fares on all other TfL services and most National Rail services. You can find more information here, and if you are eligible, then you can apply on the Transport for London (TfL) website. Please note that there is a one-off administration fee of £20 for this card.

Apprentice Oyster photocard – for those who are 18+

With an Apprentice Oyster photocard, you can save 30% on adult-rate Travelcards, as well as Bus & Tram season tickets. To be eligible, you need to be 18+, live in a London borough and be in the first year of your apprenticeship. You can find more information here, and apply on the Transport for London (TfL) website. As with the 16+ Zip Oyster photocard, there is a one-off administration fee of £20.

North East

The following are only available to apprentices who are based in the North East. Before using public transport in the region, please familiarise yourself with the latest travel advice and remember to wear a face covering. This will help to ensure both your own and others’ safety.

Go North East travel discounts – for 5-25 year olds

The Go North East discounted passes offer great value for money, covering daily, weekly and monthly bus passes for all 5-25 year olds. For more information, and to see how much you could save, please visit their 5-25 page here.

West Midlands

The following are only available to apprentices who are based in the West Midlands. Before using public transport in the region, please familiarise yourself with the latest travel advice and remember to wear a face covering. This will help to ensure both your own and others’ safety.

16-18 photocard – for 16-18 year olds

If you are under 18, then you can apply for the 16-18 photocard. This allows apprentices to save 50% on the region’s bus and tram network. For more information and how to apply, please visit this website.

Gloucestershire

The following are only available to apprentices who are based in Gloucestershire. Before using public transport in the region, please familiarise yourself with the Government’s travel advice and remember to wear a face covering. This will help to ensure both your own and others’ safety.

Thinksmart bus pass – for 16-24 year olds

If you are aged 16-24, live in Gloucestershire, and have an apprenticeship there, then you can apply for a Thinksmart bus pass. This entitles you to up to 100 free journeys on local buses over the course of your apprenticeship. You and your employer can complete an application form here.

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