Documentary series in which Richard Bilton follows up a one hundred year old investigation into unemployment
A hundred years on from a ground-breaking investigation into unemployment, Richard Bilton compares the lives of the jobless in 1910 with their modern-day counterparts. A century ago single mums lived on the brink of starvation - now our costly benefits system means that children do not go hungry. But has the welfare state created new problems? And as the government embarks on the biggest shake-up of benefits for a generation, what lessons can we learn from research into unemployment carried out a hundred years ago? In 1910, philanthropist and chocolate tycoon Seebohm Rowntree wrote a radical book about unemployment, exposing for the first time the terrible conditions faced by Britain's jobless. In the second of two programmes looking at a century of unemployment, Richard Bilton uncovers startling parallels between then and now - including a man living in a tent and reliant on casual labour - as well as the incredible advances that 100 years of reform have brought us. But he discovers that for some, the solutions to ending a life without work remain as out of reach as they did a century ago.
A hundred years on from a ground breaking investigation into unemployment, Richard Bilton turns detective and uncovers a moving story of one family's journey from grinding poverty in a York slum to undreamt of success as a Hollywood actor. In 1910 philanthropist and chocolate tycoon Seebohm Rowntree wrote a radical book about unemployment, exposing for the first time the terrible conditions faced by Britain's jobless. The report featured the diaries of the Nevinson family who struggled on the brink of destitution. In the first of two programmes looking at unemployment over the century, Richard Bilton painstakingly hunts down the descendants of the Nevinsons and discovers their great grandson is actor Mark Addy - Friar Tuck in the recent Robin Hood movie and a star of The Full Monty. In many ways, the story of the Addy family is the story of all our working lives over the last century.