Young men candidly address joblessness in important new film

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Young men from Londonderry have spoken candidly about the dispiriting effect of chronic unemployment in the city.

The men addressed the issue in #NotALabel, an important new film about finding work in Northern Ireland’s worst unemployment black spot.

The film was made as part of a project by YouthAction NI’s Positive Solutions Programme and The Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership.

“As young men we know about the difficulties that we face by being unemployed,” the film’s introduction explains.

“The Government calls us NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). Before that we were economically inactive. Before that we were status zero. I am not a label. We made this film to challenge some of the stereotypes that young men face in the city. Here are their stories,” it adds.

The men share a sense of affection about their home place but are also frustrated about the lack of opportunity.

“Being a young man there are limited opportunities out there. There are no real jobs because most jobs you need experience and how are you meant to get experience if you need experience. You’re sort of limited as to what you can do,” one said.

“I would say life’s alright in the city. Some really nice wee landmarks but nothing too special or too bad or too big goes into the town. Just a basic wee city,” said another.

“I like were I grew up. There are worse places out there...it’s a good place to grow up. It has its bad things about it but it has its good things too,” one man said.

But the joblessness gets to some.

“It’s crap. The city’s terrible. Boring. You can’t get a job anywhere,” one said.