This project was kickstarted when the term 'unskilled' was brought to my attention in early 2020. It was announced that a new immigration scheme was to be introduced in the UK, which would be partially based on fitting the required 'skill' level and earning over £25,600 - most key workers, including NHS nurses and carers, actually earn under this amount!
It is said that the definition of an ‘unskilled’ worker means; “people who have no particular work skills, often lacking in education or experience”.
Labelling people as ‘skilled’ or ‘unskilled’ blindly forces a value on an entire group of people, disregarding each individual’s capabilities and circumstances. I also find that this labelling allows dehumanising to become normalised, creating a negative association between a person and the work they do.
The recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic has truly highlighted the injustice of dehumanising categorisations that marginalised communities face, because in reality, the 'unskilled' workers that were referred to, are the same people that are nursing us back to health, keeping the shops open, and keeping the country running.
It is also evident that the pandemic has caused further strain on individuals with pre-existing mental health issues also, especially for those struggling to sustain themselves financially due to working restrictions. Because of this, 20% of the proceeds from these t-shirts will be donated to foodbanks within communities I feel do not receive enough help, due to the remoteness of their locations.