Over 95% don't see a future in Derry
A pilot survey conducted among young people from across Derry has found that over 95 per cent do not see a long term future for themselves locally.
Those behind the pilot project have said they were shocked at the findings, which form the basis of a new Youth Exodus Survey.
The survey is now set to be expanded to take in the views of hundreds of more young people.
A total of 124 young people from a Derry grammar school and youth and community-based organisations and projects across the city have submitted their views to the survey aged between 13 and 21.
The young people surveyed came from Galliagh, Rosemount, the Bogside, Creggan, Foyle Springs, Lettershandoney, Lenamore, Ballymagroarty, Ballyarnett, Strathfoyle, Coshquin, Drumahoe, Kilfennan, Shantallow, Greysteel, Eglinton, Culmore, Strathfoyle and Pennyburn.
When asked if they saw themselves remaining in Derry long term, a total of 95.2% answered ‘no’.
Almost 40% said their main reason for leaving Derry would be because of the lack of employment opportunities, with 21% planning to leave the city to study at universities elsewhere.
Around 10 per cent of young people said that politics and conflict was their main reason for wanting to leave, while less than a third of those polled stated that the divided nature of society and its political instabilities played any part in their decision.
Of those who plan on leaving Derry, more than 80% said they did not think they would consider returning to the city permanently in years to come.
The reasons given for this were varied, with many young people raising economic concerns and mentioning a lack of well paid jobs and opportunities in their home city.
In terms of where they would go, almost 40 per cent see America and Canada as their main focus, while mainland Europe is also a popular prospective destination.
One in ten young people aim to move to Belfast.
Those surveyed come from a wide range of economic and social backgrounds and range from GCSE and A-Level students to those on benefits and those working in full and part-time jobs.
When asked what job and course opportunities they saw elsewhere but not in Derry, 71 people stated university provision, while medicine, I.T, and engineering were also popular among the young people interviewed.