Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 443

Smart power

10 July 2009 / Issue 443

Plug into new energy profits... PLUS:

  • How you can get paid to buy stocks
  • Why celebrities cant save our economy
  • The gossip king who rules Hollyood


Britain’s empty coffers

Fancy a job as a witch? No? How about a job as a witch that pays £50,000 a year? That’s what’s on offer at Wookey Hole in Somerset. Apparently the applicant must be able to cackle and cannot be allergic to cats.

As you’ve perhaps gathered by now, this job follows (I assume) in the same mould as the recent ‘greatest job in the world’ campaign – when the Queensland tourist board managed to get itself wall-to-wall global press coverage by advertising for a caretaker for a tropical island. It seems that tourist attractions have hit upon the perfect advertising wheeze for the recession – offer a quirky job at an above-average wage.

Plenty of people are looking for jobs anyway; the free publicity makes up for the cost of hiring the candidate; and if you’re smart, like the Queenslanders, you make sure it’s a temporary contract so you can do it all again in a couple of years.

Any other company that follows suit can probably expect a wide range of applicants. Unemployment in Britain just keeps rising, and unless you’re at the top of the tree, the chances of getting another job – particularly in banking – are slim, as one recruitment agency executive put it this week.

And this in particular is what makes us sceptical of all the talk of recovery out there.

• Read the full editor’s letter here: Britain’s empty coffers