Invasion Of The Job Snatchers

Date: 27.02.2014     Last updated: 25.03.2014 at 13.21
Category: BBC Three
Christchurch - A picturesque town on the south coast of England. It’s a pensioners’ paradise, but with one in three of the population over the age of 65 and one in six residents aged 75 or over,* local business owners are missing out on the chance to pass on their age-old expertise to new blood.

There is a huge strain on services for the elderly and local business owners are missing out on the chance to pass on their age-old expertise to new blood.

In a unique social experiment, 13 hand-picked unemployed youngsters from across the UK are given eight weeks' work experience in the ageing town. Between them, they take up work placements with a butchers, a local ferry service, a wool shop, a solicitors, an accountants, a party shop, a hairdressers, a garden centre and a smoke house.

If they impress, it could lead to a permanent job and a new place to call home.

But Invasion Of The Job Snatchers isn’t just about work experience. By bringing together Christchurch’s senior population and a sample of the UK’s unemployed youth, the two generations come together and exchange ideas, many for the first time.

Chosen from over 1,000 job-hungry applicants, the trainees come from diverse backgrounds, ranging from the long-term unemployed to those who are struggling to find work due to a criminal record or poor exam results, and a graduate with a coveted degree but the burden of £20k worth of debt.

In their struggle to come to terms with the reality of working life, old and young clash over timekeeping, facial piercings, sexual innuendo and bad language. This leads to crisis meetings, final warnings, and in some cases, the sack.

Can these mentors, some as much as 50 years older than their trainees, break through the generation gap and help kick-start a new life for some of the nation’s young people?

Who will throw away this opportunity of a lifetime? And who can grasp it with both hands, and change their lives forever?

Notes to Editors

*data from the Office of National Statistics

MJ