Opinion & Debate

Published on November 26th, 2013 | by Kelly Rose Bradford


Single mum told to keep quiet about degree by Jobcentre

A 29-year-old single mum from Portsmouth was reportedly told by Jobcentre staff to keep quiet about her degree so she didn’t scare off potential employers.

Rachel Sawford spent £30,000 on her university education and hoped to become a social worker, but when she showed her CV to staff at her local Jobcentre, she was told not to mention it.

“There was no support at all. They just wanted me in a job,” she told the Express. “There are quite a few social worker jobs out there but they were mentioning cleaning jobs to me.”

Rachel – who had been a nursery nurse before she had her daughter six years ago – said she was left ‘shocked’ by the incident.

“I had worked this hard to get a degree and they wanted me to hide the fact,” she said. “I would not have gone to university if I had wanted a job that did not require qualifications.”

Rachel said she will ignore the advice and hopes that her qualification and her personal experience of domestic abuse will help her find a job helping women in violent relationships. 

She has now found a month’s work as a teaching assistant but is still looking for a position in social work.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman told the Express that the Jobcentre advises people to ensure their CVs are focused towards the field in which they are applying.

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About the Author

Kelly Rose Bradford

is a London-based journalist and broadcaster, writing for the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Sunday Telegraph, and a host of women's magazines. Her robust opinions and feisty debating skills make her in demand as a social commentator, regularly guesting on ITV's This Morning programme, and across many radio stations, including 5 Live and BBC Radio London.

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