This series meets those involved in a busy Yorkshire jobcentre...
A timely new C4 series The Yorkshire Jobcentre gives viewers behind the scenes access to Southern House in Leeds.
It’s one of the busiest jobcentres in the country, and here’s everything you need to know about the series…
What is The Yorkshire Jobcentre about?
This new C4 documentary (see our TV Guide for full listings) introduces us to workers and jobseekers at a very busy jobcentre in Leeds.
Producers spent more than five years working on the project, talking to the Department for Work and Pensions to secure access to Southern House.
Filming was first announced in September 2019, pre-COVID, and unfortunately the series is now even more relevant.
Discussing the series further, C4’s Commissioning Editor Rita Daniels said, “Lots of series have been made about benefits, mostly focusing on the extreme end of the spectrum and the long-term unemployed.
“This will be the first series placing equal emphasis on the human stories on both sides of the desk – challenging preconceptions about staff and claimants. And, as the last government agency on the high street, there couldn’t be a more pertinent precinct to speak to life in the UK today.”
Who will The Yorkshire Jobcentre focus on?
The series will explore a range of real-life stories, encouraging staff and jobseekers to speak openly about their experiences.
The first episode, which airs tonight, focuses on three people from all walks of life.
We’re introduced to Kenny, an unemployed man who is also struggling with the death of his dad and sister. He’s assisted by a work coach named Bernie during this very difficult time.
Kenny opens up about living on £50 a month after rent, council tax and bills.
The third is former account worker Karen, who’s 61 and struggling to compete in the job market today.
Karen has suffered countless rejections since losing her job five years ago, and is desperate to find work.
In Karen’s case, she lives alone and believes that a job would give her regular companionship as well as money.
How many episodes are there?
The Yorkshire Jobcentre is made up of six hour long episodes, documenting life on the benefits frontline.
With 35 dedicated job coaches seeing up to 600 customers every 24 hours, the series offers a deeper look at those struggling with unemployment.
Executive producers Sophie Leonard and and Grace Reynolds said, “We’re delighted to be turning this hard-won, deep access into such an ambitious series for Channel 4.
“We’ve spent over five years talking to the DWP about bringing the inner workings of a Jobcentre Plus to screen, which shows just how passionate we are about documenting life there with real heart, humour and humanity.”
When can we watch it?
The first episode airs on Monday 10th August at 9pm on C4.