Man who helped invent Viagra can’t get a job in Worksop

Frank Burslam, one of the inventors of Viagra, is struggling to find a job in Worksop.
Frank Burslam, one of the inventors of Viagra, is struggling to find a job in Worksop.

A former science chief credited with being one of the inventors of Viagra says he feels discriminated against because nobody in Worksop will give him a job.

Frank Burslem may have helped develop one of the most famous drugs in the world, but says finding employment in Worksop is posing a tougher greater challenge.

He later went on to become vice-chairman of an international healthcare group, travelling the world and bringing in a salary of about £120,000 – but has just been turned down for a job at a Worksop supermarket.

After moving to Worksop from London to be with his wife, a teacher, Frank says he is “sick of gardening” and now wants a simple job to help pass the time before he retires – but feels employers glance at his CV and deem him “overqualified”.

Frank, who is currently volunteering at the British Heart Foundation’s furniture store on Bridge Place to pass the time, said: “I would happily do any kind of job, really.

“And I definitely don’t expect the same kind of money as I used to be on – about £20,000 would be fine, just to supplement my income.

“You can’t get connected with anyone around here like you can in London and the US, where I worked previously.

“I think Worksop is great, but I feel like the aspiration levels across the town are very low.

“It’s not an overt discrimination from employers – surely it’s not anything to do with my age. But I do feel like people glance at my CV and think, ‘no chance’.

“I’ve applied for all kinds of support jobs. It’s concerning, really.

“How are people expected to carry on working into their late 60s and early 70s when you can’t get a job in later life, even when you’re able-bodied and happy to do any kind of work?”

A spokesman for East Midlands Chamber said: “It is against the law not to employ someone because of their age, so that’s definitely not the issue here.

“And £20,000 for a job in Worksop and the surrounding area is actually quite high. Nobody should expect London wages in the East Midlands. Wages might be lower but so is the cost of living.”