Out of work people living in the worst unemployment black spot in Wales are currently being offered a confidence boost in the form of a free fake tan treatment. Mmmmm, I thought I smelt biscuits.
Job Centre staff in Aberdare, South Wales, have been treating their unemployed candidates to free treatments, including fake tans and massages, at the town’s Well-being and Training Academy.
The town is currently blighted by high unemployment rates of around 9.6%, but the director of the academy, Sarah Sweeden, thinks that the free treatments will help boost people’s confidence before a job interview. She said:
"We want to give people that extra confidence - or that Gok Wan makeover - to give people the incentive to find work. It will recognise those who are doing their utmost to find unemployment by giving them a beauty treatment."
The Job Centre confirmed that they will only send candidates who are serious about finding work for the free treatments and that the programme is not paid for by the Job Centre or local council.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the only service that has been offered to jobseekers struggling on low (or no) incomes.
Dress for Success is a charity that helps women on low incomes get back into work by providing them with interview clothes and one-on-one interview training. The aim of the project is to help young women “feel more confident and start to believe in their own ability to succeed and move on with their lives”. Of the 1,178 women they saw last year, a huge 54% are now in work.
Your local Job Centre will also provide a free allowance to help those most in need improve their chances of finding work. They provide a flexible fund for all jobseekers, which is given out at the discretion of your Job Centre advisor, which can be used to buy anything from a new suit to a bus pass to help you get to your interview. The Work Programme provides a similar service – speak to your work programme advisor for more details.
And this summer, a hairdresser in Maidstone hit the headlines after offering free haircuts to jobseekers at her Hair Lounge Salon. The salon’s owner Vanessa Osment said she offered the service as a step-up for “really wanted to help themselves” to find work. The salon was offering the free haircuts until September this year and the owner is considering re-launching the project again if there is enough interest, so watch this space!
Would you take any of these free offers? Do you think fake tan would actually help you find work?