The politically correct would have us live in a world of ‘letter carriers’, ‘chairs’ and ‘coffee without milk’.
But who would they bring in to do odd bits and pieces around the house?
Jobcentre staff provided the answer yesterday – a handyperson.
The title was revealed after a property firm tried to advertise for an apprentice handyman.
A woman Jobcentre worker suggested that the word was sexist and so would prevent young women from taking part in the selection process.
The advice, however, shocked executives at London maintenance company aspect.co.uk, who have refused to fall into line.
Bosses at the company said they were keen to do their bit to help tackle youth unemployment by taking on a trainee.
They contacted Jobcentre Plus offices to say they were setting up a ‘Handyman Apprentice Boot Camp’ to find a suitable individual and asking for help to promote the initiative.
The firm asked a number of Jobcentres in London if they would be willing to give out flyers to advertise the opportunity to the young unemployed.
However, it ran up against what it calls ‘ludicrous political correctness’.
Directors were astonished to receive a response suggesting its flyers should be changed to replace the word ‘handyman’ with a more inclusive term.
joThe email from the female adviser at Wandsworth Jobcentre read: ‘Many thanks for the posters you sent over to me for your Apprentice Boot camp.
‘I have a question about the posters. Is there any chance that you can send me one saying Handyperson rather than Handyman? That will mean everyone can apply!’
Will Davies, managing director of aspect.co.uk, said: ‘At this time of mass youth unemployment, it’s hardly the time for political correctness. We welcome female and male entrants. But the name is Handyman.’
The Department for Work and Pensions, which is responsible for Jobcentre Plus outlets, yesterday insisted the word ‘handyman’ had not been banned and blamed a ‘local misunderstanding’ for the problem.
A spokesman said Jobcentre advisers have been handing out the original flyers to young people.