The Department of Work and Pensions is giving grants to lap dancing and strip clubs. PETER FROST investigates.
Just before Christmas this advert appeared in the Universal Job Match area of the direct.gov.uk – the official Government web site.
“Female worker wanted to go out with guys maybe for evening or have full on sex. This would be better if you was single and be able to work at your own pace. Looks and race unimportant. You will need a mobile phone. No experience necessary.”
Labour MP for Slough, Fiona Mactaggart, has discovered that this advert is just the tip of an iceberg with our Con-Dem Government encouraging its Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – under the leadership of Iain Duncan Smith – to offer financial aid to many sections of the sex-for-cash industry.
The DWP has paid cash incentives of over £2,000 to lap-dancing bars, strip clubs and similar establishments to hire young unemployed people aged 18-24 as part of its Youth Contract scheme.
Previously similar schemes, have encouraged young people into dead end jobs working for nothing in pound shops and other businesses.
Strip clubs and massage parlours that offer full-time jobs to young people for at least 26 weeks are now encouraged to claim up to £2,275 for each young person placed.
The DWP and their Whitehall masters have invented a few weasel words to try to make the set-up seem less offensive. The young person, say the regulations, should be neither a performer nor actually performing sexual acts.
However, what are tastefully called ancillary jobs in the sex industry are still allowed.
DWP guidelines list a wide variety of jobs in the sex industry that can receive government subsidies if offered to the young unemployed.
Jobs include bar staff, door staff, receptionists or cleaners in strip-clubs and lap dancing clubs and in saunas and massage parlours despite the fact that these are often simply fronts for brothels.
DWP grants are also available to those offering work as photographers,
web-cam operators, TV camera operators, sound technicians, producers, or directors for adult digital TV channels or pornographic films.
It would be hard to guess where many of the young people lured into this sleazy world by the local Job Centre end up in the world of vice.
Fiona Mactaggart has now raised the matter in Parliament and has demanded to know how many people employed in such establishments go on to become sex workers.
She says she has met women who started out working in cloakrooms who went on to become prostitutes.
“I do not think parents would welcome this government-sponsored recruitment into the sex industry.” she told us.
The DWP claim young people are only guided towards working in sex establishments if they specifically ask.
In theory, since 2012, jobs with a sexual purpose have been banned from government websites although, as we have seen, some still appear on them.
In the past, adverts that have appeared on Department for Work and Pensions Jobcentre Plus websites have promised adults up to £100-an-hour for jobs that are clearly involved in vice.
People and organisations working with women in the sex trade have said the adverts would lead women into prostitution.
Frances Broderick, from women’s charity, Eaves, told us: “I’m shocked that the DWP are even advertising this as an opportunity. It’s clearly not a suitable career choice for the DWP to be promoting.”
She said the adverts were “clearly helping women into prostitution”.
One advert, promising £90-an-hour to over-18s in Cardiff, stated: “Duties involve providing clients with a personal escort service in an unsupervised environment.”
Despite assurances that the adverts have now been withdrawn, as we have seen, they were still on the government website just a month or two ago.
The grants for those offering work to young people are still being paid by the DWP and the Con-Dem Ministers who call the tune.
Hypocrisy was always a speciality among Tory ministers, particularly DWP boss Iain Duncan Smith, and it seems that hasn’t changed a bit.
This article appeared in the Morning Star 20 February 2014