An Australian father offering free beer for a year in exchange for an electrical apprenticeship for his out-of-work son said Wednesday he had fielded phone calls from around the world but no genuine job offer.

“It's become a bit of a nightmare, really,” Paul McVeigh said of the response to the column advertisement he placed in his local paper, the Mackay Daily Mercury.

“I've had loads of calls, foreign breweries wanting to sponsor the offer and stuff, but no real job offers. I'm beginning to regret placing the ad in the first place.”

McVeigh offered free beer for a year - 50 cases - in return for 19-year-old Nick getting an apprenticeship to become an electrician.

Nick had sent out hundreds of job applications to businesses in the far-north Queensland town but without success.

“People spend hundreds of thousands on getting a university degree and this just seemed like an investment,” McVeigh said. “I can't see why some people are so upset.”

The Mackay Daily Mercury received a letter condemning the free-beer offer as a straightforward bribe and accusing McVeigh of “prostituting” his son.

Nick shot back defending the beer offer, saying “sure I know it's 'bribing' but if nothing else has succeeded, why not try?” - Sapa-dpa