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'Striptease artist' listed as possible profession for Universal Credit claimants

The Department for Work and Pensions said the listing was 'inappropriate'
The Department for Work and Pensions said the listing was 'inappropriate' Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA

The Department for Work and Pensions has removed an online tool for job seekers from its website after it mistakenly listed 'striptease artist' as a possible future career for Universal Credit claimants, it has emerged.

The tool, "Work you could do", is designed to help claimants into the job market by suggesting possible careers and describing what they entail.

But due to an oversight in the way that the web page was constructed, the department accidentally listed "striptease artist" as a possible job for unemployed people to apply for.

The website described the role as an employee who "dances in adult entertainment establishments", and suggested that claimants searched "striptease artist" online to find vacancies.

 The role was listed alongside other jobs such as hotel assistant, lobby attendant, bingo assistant and astrologer.

 An astrologer is an employee who “divines and tells fortunes by various machines," it said.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) issued a statement describing the listing as "inappropriate" and said it would launch a review into the incident.

It added that adult dancing was "not the type of employment our work coaches help people into", and defended its record on Universal Credit, which it said was "working for the vast majority of people".

"Since 2010 more than 75 per cent of all new jobs created are high skilled and full time," it said.

The web page has been removed and the tool is "temporarily unavailable".

It is understood that the error occurred when the DWP copied a list of occupations compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which divides jobs into categories for the purpose of its statistical releases.

An ONS spokesman pointed to a spreadsheet on the organisation's website that uses the same description of a "striptease artist" as the DWP.

He did not comment on how the mistake took place.

Unemployed Universal Credit claimants are required to search for work in order to receive their allowance from the DWP.

Universal Credit, first introduced by the DWP under Iain Duncan Smith, replaces the old Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and various other benefit payments. A 'new style' JSA is also available to some claimants.