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Firm offering free drycleaning for jobseekers

The High Street chain Timpson is offering to dry clean suits for unemployed people for nothing. It hopes this will help them succeed in job interviews, writes Justin Parkinson.

  Interviewers like job candidates to look smart.

Jeans, T-shirts and trainers are generally a no-no in a lot of roles. Wearing a suit is expected for many interviews, even if the job itself does not involve dressing smartly. Clothes stains are said to "turn off" 59% of executives, with the remaining 41% probably ambivalent at best when confronted with the remains of a meal or a night out.

The problem is that getting suits dry cleaned usually costs in the vicinity of £10, which can be prohibitive for unemployed people looking to return to work.
The Timpson chain, which also offers key-cutting and shoe repairs, has put up posters outside its stores proclaiming: "If you are unemployed and need an outfit cleaned for an interview, we will clean it for free."

The offer, in place since 1 January, has been taken up by hundreds of people, Timpson chief executive James Timpson says.

"When people are going for interview it's important to look and feel smart and getting their suit dry cleaned is part of that," he adds. "It makes people more confident and gives them that 2% extra chance of getting a job. We just thought it was a really good idea."

Timpson, which started in Manchester in 1865 and now has 1,395 stores around the UK, is not asking people to prove they are unemployed to get the free drycleaning.

"We just trust customers," says Timpson. "We had one lady who came in with a cocktail dress and we told her to hold on. But that's the only instance of a customer taking advantage."

For the full blog, visit the BBC website


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