Northern Ireland

Youth unemployment: Young people in west Belfast voice their frustration

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Media captionYouth unemployment: Young people in west Belfast voice their frustration

Almost one in five young people are unemployed in Northern Ireland, according to latest figures.

Are those voices being heard when it comes to the election?

Courses to help young people get into work are held at the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill Road in Belfast.

Among them is 18-year-old Donna Rennie who said she would "love to get a job".

"I've applied for loads but it doesn't work, there's always somebody better," she said.

"It's not a nice feeling."

Image caption Donna Rennie has said she has applied for a large number of jobs

It's a feeling Marc Young knows only too well.

"I went to school, got my GCSEs and A-levels and I thought I would walk into a job but I haven't," he added.

"I've applied everywhere and just haven't heard back which is really frustrating."

So what is the answer? What should the politicians be doing?

William Glass has been in and out of jobs for the past two years since leaving school at 16.

"Why not spend the time, the four years in school, training for a job or career that you want to be in?

"Then more people are going to have the skills they need for the job. "I want a career, I don't want to be going from job to job."

Image caption William Glass believes young people should have training focused on the career they want to be in from an early stage

Thomas McKeown is looking for a job in youth work and he feels frustrated when he watches what happens at Stormont.

'Stuck in the past'

"I feel the politicians today are just so bitter-minded about wanting to get one up on each other," he said.

"How long do we actually want this to go on? It's been going on long enough."

William agrees: "I believe there are people in Stormont who are stuck in the past and fighting. "For me, that era is truly over.

"I want to see people using legal highs to get help and I want to see drug reform and better health care."

And Dylan Bell believes the politicians need to be more visible when it isn't election time.

"You see the politicians round your door every day for a month and a half," he said.

"Then the rest of the ten and a half months you see them on the news and that's it - they're more worried about being on the big screen."

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