Job centres in a recession-hit town have been criticised after advertising for sex workers alongside other posts such as nurses and office staff.
The ads, placed in job centres in Doncaster, are offering women £10 an hour to sit nude in front of a webcam and engage in sexually explicit chat with men.
The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed the vacancies are legal and therefore “have to” be advertised.
But the Bishop of Doncaster, the Right Reverend Cyril Ashton, and other campaign groups have raised concerns that it exploits women desperate for income and could lure them into prostitution.
Bishop Ashton said: “I am dismayed that this advert should appear in Doncaster’s job centre.
“Our young women may feel pressurised to apply. It shows a gratuitous lack of respect for women and is entirely inappropriate.”
The chairman of the South Yorkshire Women’s Institute, Ann Fairclough, said: “These type of adverts all interlink and can lead to the trafficking of women and making them extremely vulnerable. Adverts like these put pressure and tempt women into a life that could lead to abuse.”
A spokesman for the Doncaster branch of the YWCA England and Wales, said: “This job could lead vulnerable women, who are in dire need of money, into areas that may not be legal such as prostitution.
“The job being advertised encourages young women to take up a role that has risky implications to their personal safety and to choose quick money over career development.”
The ads stated women had to be aged 18, “friendly and outgoing” and able to work between 20 and 40 hours a week, sometimes working until 6am.
A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “Adult entertainment jobs are clearly marked as not suitable for people aged under 18 and are only discussed with people who inquire about them.
“We are currently consulting on the rules to see how we can tighten them even further.”
However, the New Zealand-based escort agency responsible for the ads denied the job was “exploitative” and said that similar ads had run before.