Page last updated at 20:12 GMT, Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Tyneside jobcentre bans ad for junior stylist

Michelle Hilling
Michelle Hilling is concerned that applicants will be over-qualified

A Tyneside hairdressing salon has been told it cannot advertise for a junior stylist on the grounds of ageism.

The vacancy at U Hairdressing in Gosforth, Newcastle, was refused by Jobcentre Plus because it discriminated against older people.

Owner Michelle Hilling said the term "junior" had been used in the trade for years and referred to a level of qualification rather than age.

Jobcentre Plus said it wanted employers to get as many applicants as possible.

Ms Hilling, who in the past has taken on a 45-year-old junior, said: "I was told I could use the word stylist or apprentice, but not junior stylist which is imperative in hairdressing, it has been used for years."

'Waste time'

She agreed to drop the term but is now concerned the advertisement will fail to attract the right candidates.

"We are going to have a lot of people ringing up to find they are too qualified, we'll be getting senior stylists applying for it," she said.

"It will waste our time and theirs."

Jobcentre Plus said in a statement: "Our advisers will help employers get as many applicants for their jobs as possible.

"Some people may be put off applying if they think a job is only aimed at young people so we'll advise on wording adverts to help businesses get the best person for them."

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