A woman who applied for a training position at a bus company was told she could not be accepted because she is white.
Marion Ryan, 40, has accused Hackney Community Transport (HCT) of racism after staff said the colour of her skin prevented her applying for the post.
The mother-of-four had approached the London transport firm after seeing an advert for a course to become a bus passenger assistant.
However, when she inquired at the firm’s head office in Hackney, east London, a female member of staff said they were only looking for candidates of mixed race, Afro-Caribbean or Asian backgrounds.
Mrs Ryan said: “It did not register in my head at first what she was telling me – that I could not do the programme because of the colour of my skin.
“I am so angry and upset. I have never heard or seen anything like this.
“I just thought: ‘I don’t think you should be allowed to do that. That is discrimination. It’s not right’.”
HCT admitted that the incident had happened but said Mrs Ryan had mistakenly been given false information that she was ineligible to enrol on its course.
Frank Villeneuve-Smith, an HCT spokesman, said: “She was given incorrect information by a member of staff.
“In fact, Marion is eligible. We have been trying to get hold of her to say that she is eligible and to apologise. We are very sorry.
“There is no policy that would prevent anyone from applying for one of our training courses.”
Mrs Ryan had wanted to take up the post as a step towards returning to work after spending the past 18 years bringing up her children.
She had hoped that the position, learning how to help disabled passengers on buses, would lead to work in social care.
Mrs Ryan, from Clapton, east London said it was too late for HCT to apologise now.
HCT was founded in 1982 by various community groups in Hackney, with the aim of providing affordable community transport for voluntary organisations, charities and community organisations.