The world is currently experiencing the worst financial meltdown in living memory, but what's it like to be young and caught up in this crisis and what lessons can we learn here in the UK? To find out BBC3 reporter Stacey Dooley travels to Greece, Ireland and Japan to uncover the extraordinary ways in which the young are being affected by the crisis...
Stacey begins her investigation in Greece, where the government has introduced massive spending cuts to get a European bail out. These austerity measures have dramatically affected the lives of young Greeks, leaving more than half unemployed, many angry and all unsure about their futures.
Stacey's investigation reaches its climax on the day politicians decide to vote on a further wave of harsh austerity measures. She joins a massive public rally gathered outside parliament that dramatically turns into a violent riot. It offers her a glimpse of how angry and desperate a people can become when pushed to breaking point by economic policies, and it gives us an insight into what could happen to us here in the UK if our debt gets any worse.
In the second episode of the series, Stacey heads to Ireland to see how our neighbours are coping several years after the country almost went bust.
When Stacey arrives in Dublin’s Temple Bar the party is in full swing; but it’s not long before she discovers that below the surface tensions are high when she stumbles across a group of young protesters angered by the mess they have inherited. When the police move in a dramatic scene unfolds.
Is Ireland at risk of loosing an entire generation? And If things don’t improve at home is this a trend we could see coming to us soon?
In the final episode, Stacey heads to Japan which has experienced two decades of an economic slump. Stacey finds out what this means for young people by entering a hidden world to reveal a new type of homelessness that has emerged. Many young people have resorted to living in internet cafes.
In a country where 1/3 of the workforce is now trapped in part-time insecure jobs, the struggle to find secure work now consumes many Stacey goes to an extraordinary job-hunting school that trains you how to become the perfect job applicant.
Even those with jobs haven’t escaped the effects of this slump. Stacey meets workers now doing the work of those made redundant. Even relationships have been affected. She learns many men don’t want to get married because they don’t think they can afford to raise a family…and she joins a woman absorbed in one of the latest youth crazes to hit Japan…marriage hunting. Stacey then sees the saddest impact Japan’s decline has had when she visits a forest famous for suicides.