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Provocative and revealing documentary stories of how people survive without work

About the Show

Provocative and revealing documentary stories of how people survive without work

Series 1 Summary

Skint tells the provocative and revealing stories of people who are in long-term unemployment, have never worked, or are growing up without any expectation of working.

At its height Scunthorpe's steelworks employed 27,000 people. It now employs a sixth of that number. With work in the town still hard to find, the people featured in this series are thrown back on their own resources.

Told with energy, humour and boldness, the series offers an insight into their lives, highlighting 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.

Skint gets behind the headlines as people who are often maligned for their lifestyle offer their own story and show the real impact of worklessness.

  • Episode 1

    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 his world, where 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 challenge.

    On Dean's estate, the film follows 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.

  • Episode 2

    Dean's wife Claire became a mother in her teens and is determined her daughters won't go the same way. It's difficult not to worry that her 15-year-old daughter might follow in her footsteps when she has been driving around with an older boy.

    Sixteen-year-old Jemelia left home at 14 and by 15 had a baby, who was immediately taken into care. The film follows Jemelia during the build-up to the court's decision about the future of her baby and Jemelia speaks honestly about her reaction to the verdict.

    Relying on benefits to support your children is no easy option either, as Dean and Claire are well aware.

    Hayley is just 21, but has five children. Neither she nor her partner work and they're hoping to get married, until their child tax credits are cut off.

    Meanwhile, 19-year-old Fergie is wanted by the police and is worried about whether his new girlfriend will wait for him if he ends up in prison.

  • Episode 3

    The local pub - The Desert Rat - is re-opening. Unemployment is running high on the estate and just outside the pub is 'The Wall' where people congregate, often when they have nothing better to do.

    This episode in the series features some of the Wall regulars: Kieron, who was once slapped with an ASBO to stop his prolific shoplifting, but is now trying to change his life and get clean; and Dean's former son-in-law Shane, who wants to make it as a cage fighter.

    Dean's stepson James is about to leave school and hopes to join the army.

    First, it's time to pack the family off to Skegness for their annual holiday, where they squeeze an amazing 17 people into a caravan. So Dean can look forward to another boisterous break with his family and friends.

  • Episode 4

    Bringing up children when work is scarce is never easy, but it becomes an uphill battle if you are also struggling with addiction. This episode follows the impact that addiction can have on family life.

    Gail's partner died of alcoholism in his 30s and Gail is now trying to keep her daughter, who was deeply affected by the loss of her stepfather, from going off the rails.

    Emma wants to keep her family together, but can her son's dad stay free from alcohol and tablets?

    Meanwhile, Dean has been helping his little brother Greg with his job search.

Skint synopsis

Provocative and revealing documentary stories of how people survive without work

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4 Episodes