'You're not on benefits so we can't help': What a job centre told mother trying to return to work
A mum-of-two claims the job centre told her they couldn't help her find a job - because she didn't want to claim benefits.
Lynne Dawson, 32, had taken a career break to raise her two young children while engineer husband Anthony brought in an income.
But now daughters Deanna, six, and Keira, three, are older Lynne felt she should find work as well as help the family.
Intending to work part-time from home Mrs Dawson said she was having trouble finding the right job and decided to seek help at her local job centre.
Shockingly despite contacting the her local centre in Derby Lynne claims she was told without claiming benefits she couldn't get an interview.
She even tried a different branch and another member of staff but was still turned down.
The former medical inspector, from Chaddesden, Derbys, said: 'There is a recession on and a lot of people out of work.
'It's quite shocking that you have to sponge off the state to qualify for some personal advice in getting back into work.
'I couldn't believe it. It was the first question they asked me: 'Are you claiming any benefits?'.
'I don't want to claim benefits. I'd rather do things on my own. All I wanted was some advice on putting a CV together and finding work by sitting down and talking with someone. But they wouldn't do it.
'I wanted a part-time position I could do from home and I started to check job websites but it was quite confusing.
'So I decided to go and ask the job centre, to get some help putting a CV together, I haven't done one for years.'
Taxpayer's watchdog the Taxpayer's Alliance branded the job centres actions as outrageous.
A spokesman said: 'This is a total outrage and just goes to show how topsy turvy our welfare system has become.
'Someone willing and able like Mrs Dawson should be encouraged into work, not on to benefits.
'Her commitment to finding work is admirable but it's a complete disgrace that she's being denied help.
'Real reform is desperately needed if we're to get people back into employment and break open the benefit trap.'
Job centres offer advice in getting back to work and compiling a CV via the Directgov website but Lynne said she was not made aware of this when speaking to staff.
A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: 'We are sorry that this information was not offered to the lady who approached us for help.
'Jobcentre Plus prioritises its services by offering support mainly to people who receive welfare benefits and to those who have experienced long-term problems in getting back into employment.
'Our online and telephone services are convenient to use and provide extensive advice. The Directgov website, available to anyone, offers help and information about looking for work as well as providing access to the UK's largest jobs database.'
Conservative Minister for Employment Chris Grayling said the coalition Government had no plans to change Jobcentre rules.
However, he did highlight Government proposals to set up 'work clubs'.
He said: 'We are setting out this week radical plans for welfare reform to break the culture of welfare dependency which is present in too many communities around the country, but we are also stepping up the support to newer job seekers through job centre Plus and work clubs.'
George Cowcher, chief executive of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said it seemed 'counter-productive' to turn somebody away who wanted to find employment.
He said: 'Nobody who is actively seeking work should be denied such help and support.' MAIL ONLINE