Working Links, a public-private voluntary partnership set up to help long-term unemployed people back into work, gives newly-employed workers a voucher to tide them over until they get paid.
The voucher can be spent in more than 70 shops - including Threshers and Wine Rack.
One new worker in the scheme told
The Sun: "I couldn't believe it when I saw you could use them at Threshers.
"I used some of the vouchers
for other things, but I was straight down to the offy first. My mates
were too. It's too good to turn down."
Working Links said in a statement: "Vouchers are distributed to help clients pay for
essentials in preparation for heading back to work . These vouchers can
be spent on goods ranging from new work clothes and
tools to food for the family. We believe the voucher system provides important assistance to individuals and their families at a time when they are entering employment and may face additional household spending.
"The system is carefully managed
and in most cases vouchers are provided only once. Our people invest in getting to know each individual, their needs and expectations, and tailor our service to meet their individual needs."
A spokesman said: "We would be very depressed if people were actually spending the vouchers on alcohol."