In the first part of this BBC1 programme, 4 rich and famous volunteers went undercover as jobseekers in unemployment hotspots around the UK. In the second part they went to stay with people who were long term unemployed.

It was enlightening to see how some people have to live, and how they get caught in a vicious cycle and can’t find a way out, or anyone to help them out. It’s disturbing to see how poor the help is for these people: the hostile environment in job centres, and people generally unwilling to offer a helping hand.

Meg Matthews helped an ex con get into an employment agency and it was touching to see how much he appreciated it. Just the act of spending some time with him, caring for his wellbeing, and trying to help him stand on his own two feet.

I know there are people who work the system and that’s what they want to do. But there are also people out there who’s self respect and feeling of self worth is so low that they’re stuck in a rut, and don’t know where to turn for help. And the services to help them are just crap. Which is crazy because if they can be helped into employment there are so many benefits to be reaped: the earn a living; they earn respect and dignity and independence; they can become active members of a community and give back; the strain on state money is reduced; they become tax payers, and on and on.

We’re meant for something more than living just to put food on our plates

Rise Against – The First Drop

Unfortunately many people aren’t even managing that much.

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