An introduction to Merthyr Tydfil - a town with a high proportion of the population unemployed and on benefits. Two sisters make a video in order to study the situation, with the intention of looking at the reasons behind the high level of unemployment in the town and to evaluate the effects of proposed government changes to the benefit system on the unemployed population.
Ask the students if they agree with the way that unemployment in Merthyr Tydfil is portrayed in the clip. Ask if they agree or not and give reasons for their opinions. Discuss the causes of unemployment and compare the views of the class with views presented in the media. Learners could discuss the effect of unemployment on the individual, then investigate the latest unemployment figures in Merthyr. Students could find out how much benefits are for a single person today and create a budget on which to live using this figure. Students could collect statistics to compare Merthyr with another area in the UK, and compare the situation relating to attainment in education and patterns of health. They could discuss how the New Right views deprivation, and use examples to explain the meaning of relative poverty. They could also debate the possible reasons for the government bringing in the benefit changes/ cuts.