A Job in Civvy Street

The second world war ended in Europe on 8th May 1945 and the war against Japan was over on 14th August. After that, the forces who had been called up for war service were gradually being demobilised. Some would go back to their previous jobs; others may have needed to look for work.

At Market Lavington Museum, we have a leaflet proposing job opportunities with NAAFI.

Civvy Street snip

NAAFI stands for Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes and the jobs were in canteen work. There were a large number of posts available in the UK, in Civvy Street.That meant they were civilian jobs rather than needing military personnel. There were jobs available for both men and women, in offices, stores, bakeries, canteens, whilst the furnishings work was just for men and the hostels jobs were just for women.

Civvy Street men snip Civvy Street women snip

The income offered shows just how much inflation there has been over the last three quarters of a century. Many of the minimum weekly wages were around the £3 or £4 mark, some with free board and lodging.

Naafi wage snip

The wages are given in shillings, with 20 shillings to a pound and 12 pence in a shilling. So 47/6 meant 47 shillings and 6 pence, or £2.7s.6d for a less experienced woman working for a whole week on a calculating machine.

Women’s pay was always less than men’s. For example the same jobs advertised in the bakeries paid 70 shillings to men or 48 shillings to women for a week’s work.

If one of these jobs appealed, then the back page of the leaflet told you where to apply for further information for work in different areas of the country.

Civvy Street back page snip

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