A German teenager was horrified when she was contacted by her local job centre, and offered a job as a brothel hostess. The Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper said that the job centre in question has issued an apology - not for offering the job to a teen, but for sending her a letter about it before checking in advance.
So is this the strangest job centre offer?
The jobThe 19-year-old was looking for work as a housekeeper. The job centre received details of a vacancy in a brothel, and paired the two up.
The brothel wasn't looking for a prostitute, but for a hostess to serve drinks, so the job didn't strike the centre as inappropriate. However, a spokesman apologised, saying he should have contacted the teenager before sending her the job offer to check she was happy with working in a brothel.
It seems like an unusual decision, but given that he was suggesting a 19-year-old for a job serving drinks (in a country where prostitution is legal so the brothel is entirely above-board) there's nothing technically wrong with what the job centre did.
It simply raises the interesting question of whether job centres should be making moral choices about jobs, or whether it should simply advertise them and leave the moral choices up to each individual.
Not aloneOf course, this assumes that the job centre is entirely aware of what it is going on, and in an age of online job advertisements this isn't necessary the case. Yesterday we reported the story of an advert for a building site labourer that had appeared on two British government websites in Polish without being spotted.
Meanwhile, in December last year, we reported that a host of fake jobs had been submitted to British government websites - including one for an MI6 "target elimination specialist" and "international couriers" for CosaNostra Holdings.
The same report revealed that the government in the UK had also unwittingly strayed into the pornography business, advertising for a female presenter of 'internet babe chat'.
Nowadays you never know what you'll find down at the job centre - except for a well-paid, secure, interesting job doing something for which you are perfectly qualified of course.