Channel 4’s new three-part observational documentary Skint tells the revealing stories from the inside out about how people survive without work. The series follows the lives of a group of people who are either in long-term unemployment, have never worked, or who are growing up without the expectation of ever working.
Skint was filmed over nine months in Scunthorpe and focuses on a father and stepfather of nine, who used to work at the steelworks which at one time employed 27,000 people and now employs a sixth of that number. Skint also follows other members of the estate which is located in one of the most deprived areas of Britain.
As work becomes increasingly hard to find, the people featured in Skint are thrown back on their own resources. The series highlights social issues such as youth unemployment, crime, welfare dependency, truancy and addiction; but with the characters also revealing their ingenuity, resilience, community support and love and pride of family.
The series aims to get behind the headlines as people, who are often criticised for their lifestyle, offer their own story and show the real impact of joblessness – both today and over generations. 37 year old Dean used to work at the steelworks in Scunthorpe, but now he, his wife and their seven children and stepchildren get by on benefits. Dean is a guide to a world in which being out of work is nothing out of the ordinary, where people do what they can to survive and where keeping your kids on the straight and narrow is a constant challenge.
The film also follows other characters on Dean’s estate such as the shoplifter who sells stolen deodorant on the cheap and a 15 year old boy who has been excluded from seven different schools. For them and many others across the country, this is what it means to be skint.
Skint starts tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm
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