Under the scheme in Aberdare, Job Centre staff are sending candidates for tans and makeovers at the town’s Well-being and Training Academy.
But critics have questioned whether it is a sensible way for dealing with joblessness in the area, which suffers from unemployment of 9.6%, the highest rate in Wales.
The makeover has been dubbed the Gok Wan after the host of the TV show “How to look good naked”.
Sarah Sweeden, director of the Academy, said they were happy to give the makeover and free spray tans to genuine jobseekers.
She said: “We want to give people that extra confidence – or that Gok Wan makeover – to give people the incentive to find work. “It will recognise those who are doing their utmost to find unemployment by giving them a beauty treatment.”
Job Centre staff will only send candidates for the treatment if they are seen to be serious about finding work. It is not paid for by the Job Centre or council.
The Academy is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company which aims to help people get back to work by improving their fitness, appearance, nutrition and confidence.
Plaid Cymru councillor Pauline Jarman, leader of the opposition on Rhondda Cynon Taff council, questioned the reasoning behind the scheme.
She said: “I don’t know any employer that would be impressed if you turned up tanned. They’d be more inclined to be impressed if you had the skills and experience to undertake the job that’s been advertised.”
Robert Oxley, Campaign Manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: “It is verging on the ridiculous that this is the authorities' answer to getting people working.
“The focus of job centres should be getting people into employment, not topping up their tans because they have made the effort to find a job.
“Competition for work is tough, but it is work experience and skills that will secure a job, not how bronzed you are.”
In : Spray Tanning News