Jobseekers struggling to find work because of visible tattoos can get free tattoo removal. The tattoo removal session are paid for by the jobcentre or as many will say, paid for by taxpayers. The scheme, which already exist in the United States where many gang members have face and neck tattoos has now been implemented in the UK.
In the United States, gang members can get free tattoo removal if they pledge to cut all links with their previous gang. Having a face or neck tattoo showing that you belong to a gang can be an obstacle when looking for work and many are opting for tattoo removal to move on in their lives.
In the UK, jobseekers will also be able to have free tattoo removal to help them find work if they have very visible tattoos. Employees at Jobcentres across the country have been briefed about this new scheme. They can direct those on benefits to tattoo removal clinics in the hope of helping them find work. The aim is to help lower unemployment levels.
It has been revealed that a few claimants have already benefited from the new scheme, enabling job seekers to have tattoos removal session to the value of up to £1,500.
Darra Singh, chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, confirmed that the scheme has been implemented to help claimants go back to work and that the free tattoo removal sessions are authorised on a case by case basis. It is believed that the cost of the tattoo removal scheme represents good value for taxpayers if claimants are able to get a job once the offending piece of art work has been removed.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that Mr Singh admitted that no records are kept on the number of claimants who have received the “plastic surgery” benefit. He also added that he could remember a case as far back as 2002!
Visible face and neck tattoos are banned in the armed forces so this would be a good reason to have a tattoo removed. It is also believed that employers frown upon them but this is evolving as tattoos are getting more and more popular. Anyone getting a face or neck tattoo should be aware of the consequences before getting inked.
Many will argue that it is unfair to ask taxpayers to foot the bill for expensive cosmetic surgery, especially when individuals have found the money to pay for the tattoos in the first place. Tattoos can be quite expensive, especially large tattoos which require many hours of work to be completed. The cost of tattoo removal can cost £100 a session, with larger tattoos requiring about 15 sessions before they disappear. Removing a tattoo can therefore cost anything from £200 to thousands depending on the size of the tattoo and the colours used by the artist. At a time when the government needs to make so many cuts, it will be difficult to justify jobcentres paying for tattoo removal sessions.