A grandmother has been denied the chance to train for her dream job because of a “luck-of-the-draw” Job Centre funding policy.
Diane Turner, 55, of Old Millstones, Preston, has been unemployed for a year, having previously worked in sales.
She applied through the Job Centre to become a driving instructor with a company called Red, but after impressing on an interview, has been told she can’t have training help.
She said: “I’ve wanted to be a driving instructor for a long time. It’s quite a long course, and I couldn’t afford all of the £2,000 cost on my own, but Red told me not to worry because the Job Centre has Low Value Provision funding for this kind of thing and other people have been successful.”
When Diane asked about assistance, she was told Preston’s Job Centre could not offer her the funding, a decision made by the district manager.
Diane added: “I’m really angry about it. I’ve missed out on getting back to work purely because of where I live. Other people in different parts of the country in the same situation as me will have had their application approved.”
A Red spokesman confirmed that applicants they feel will make a good instructor are sometimes deferred to the Job Centre as an option for potential funding, though they acknowledge each Job Centre has its own requirments.
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said funding is decided on a case-by-case basis.
He said: “Jobcentres do everything they can to help people off benefits and into work, including offering funding for appropriate skills training.
“However, we can’t allow someone to continue claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance while on a long-term training programme, such as driving instructor training - which can take up to 12 months - as it doesn’t offer good value to the taxpayer.”