The idea of a Benefits Street-style culture of jobless people, generations of families never having worked, or never likely to, has not been backed by any evidence, leading academics have stated. This was the conclusion after a period of eight months interviewing people in 2 of the country’s most deprived neighbourhoods and failing to find any.
The academics said they countered the popular Channel 4 documentary ‘Benefits Street’, which prompted newspaper reports of areas where nine in 10 people never worked.
The study took place over 8 months in Glasgow and Teesside, they did not find signs of “benefit ghettos”, where joblessness was a lifestyle choice.
Professor of sociology at Teesside University, Robert MacDonald said; “Yes, these are areas where there’s high levels of joblessness, but most people are still in jobs. It’s not getting beyond 30% or 40% at most, which calls into question this idea of entire neighbourhoods cut off from jobs.”
In conclusion, he said, all the parents said they did not want their children to rely on benefits, with the children all saying they had no desire to do so.
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