Exclusive: How you got state funded work experience in a strip club with A4e

From the dole queue to the strip club; Red faces at A4 e and the DWP

The leaked internal audit report into the failings of  A4e featured on BBC Newsnight last month missed an extraordinary bombshell. .

The work provider company run by Cameron’s former work Czar, Emma Harrison, was actually placing claimants to work in night clubs and strip clubs when fun loving Labour minister James Purnell, was works and pensions secretary.

A detailed examination of the audit report reveals that X in the City – a Liverpool lap dancing club – favoured by carousing Premier  League footballers – took at least one person from A4e.

The full story is revealed in my piece for Exaro News, the investigative website.at http://www.exaronews.com

The lap-dancing and strip bar made headlines earlier this year after the Manchester City striker, Mario Balotelli, was fined a week’s wages for breaking a team curfew while visiting the nightspot less than 48 hours before a crucial Premier League match against Bolton Wanderers.

The bar advertises lap dances at £5 a time, and offers a ‘VIP’ deal in private rooms where a half-hour lap dance with champagne costs £50.

The report also reveals that two other claimants were placed in night clubs in Norwich. A4e declines to reveal how many other people got jobs in sex and night clubs at the time in 2009.

The whole matter is also  a bit of an embarrassment for Christian Iain Duncan Smith, the current works and pensions secretary,who has imposed an all out ban on allowing A4e or anyone else telling people to work in lap dancing joints.

At the time of the placement according to his department the ruling was: ‘Jobcentre Plus will no longer advertise jobs that involve the direct sexual stimulation of others because publicly-funded services should not be a conduit to this work. The ban would cover jobs such as lap dancers, web-cam performers and strippers. However, Jobcentre Plus will continue to accept other vacancies in the retail, manufacturing and distribution sectors of the industry. A cleaning job in a lap dancing club could still be advertised, for example.

There is a final irony in all of this. The auditors don’t know whether the person placed there –  one Jamie Nolan – ever took it  up because they were too shy to go in and investigate.

The report says:“It was not possible to conduct a visit to ‘X In The City’ to verify the documents…This employer is a lap-dance bar and was not open during the hours of the audit.”

It was a case of  No sex please, we’re auditors. And the manager of the club claims he can’t remember either. Wow what a mess!

4 thoughts on “Exclusive: How you got state funded work experience in a strip club with A4e

    • True – though when someone is ordered to go on work experience – they should have a choice to refuse if say there were not keen in working in a strip club even if it is a legal one.


  1. Agree. As I see it a big long-term problem is the ‘poverty gap’ created by downward pressures on wages and upward pressures on living costs — makes it hard for people to be fussy about where they work.


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