Benefit Busters

Thursday, August 27 on 4

Unemployment is rife in Hull, but for one company business is booming: A4E has won the lucrative contract to help get the long-term unemployed back to work. Mark Pilkington is an ex-soldier who hasn’t worked for 10 years. He welcomes help and within a fortnight he finds a job. But the joy of receiving his first pay cheque is short-lived; after just four weeks a business downturn results in Mark being laid off. Facing a return to A4E and potentially a four-week wait to restart his benefit payments, Mark begins to wonder if there is more security in a life on benefits.

Thursday, August 20 on 4

This year, Britain will pay out more in benefits than it raises in income tax. As the government attempts to revolutionise the welfare system – controversially rewarding private companies according to their ability to coax people off benefits and into jobs – Channel 4 follows the people on both sides of this new welfare state. Hayley Taylor’s job is to persuade single mothers on benefits to go back to work. This week, cameras follow her group of ten single mothers, referred from the Job Centre, during their intensive six-week course to prepare them for work.

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