16/02/2012 08:14 GMT | Updated 16/02/2012 09:24 GMT

Tesco: JSA Plus Expenses Job Ad Was 'IT Mistake'

Tesco has hit back at criticism of its employment policy after a job advert appeared listing wages for a night shift role in East Anglia as "JSA plus expenses."

The supermarket giant has said that the advert was an IT error, and that the position was not permanent but offered three night shifts of "valuable work experience" in exchange for Job Seeker's Allowance, with a guaranteed interview at the end.

Users of micro-blogging site Twitter have threatened to boycott the store and Guardian reporter Sunny Hundal described the job posting as "modern slavery" on his blog Liberal Conspiracy.

But in a statement on Thursday the supermarket giant said the job was posted as part of the "government led work experience scheme" and that through that offer of work experience "300 young people have so far gone on to get permanent employment with us as a result of work experience in recent months."

Although Tesco said that it was trying to get Jobcentre Plus error to take the advert down, it still remains on the site.

Customer assistants at Tesco get £7.00 an hour, but the role advertised was not "a replacement or substitute for permanent staff. "

The job is part of the government's scheme of Sector Based Work Academies (SBWA), which can last up to six weeks and is intended to offer job seekers "work experience" to improve their chances of finding long term employment.

Initially Tesco defended the advert, tweeting

After widespread anger expressed both at Tesco and at the Department for Work And Pensions scheme, the DWP press office has also taken to Twitter to clarify the role.

Although DWP pointed out that a job interview was guaranteed as part of the scheme, for some Twitter users, this was not enough.

"A guaranteed interview but not a guaranteed job?" Tweeted one angry user.

Other social media users have started using the hashtag #boycotttesco to further express their displeasure at the scheme. However DWP, also being lambasted on Twitter has pointed out that the website Jobhits, on which the Tesco vacancy is advertised, is not the official goverment website.

For many, though, the response from Tesco and the Department of Work and Pensions, was not enough.