Anna Lo MLA said: “It was great to see these young people taking such an active interest in the community. These young people are stepping forward for their local area and aiming high for a better society in Northern Ireland.
“We have seen from recent polls that young people are more interested in the economy, employment opportunities and social issues than orange and green politics.
“If we do not seek to move beyond the tribal politics of ‘us and them’, then more and more young people will seek to leave Northern Ireland to start their lives elsewhere. However, just this week we saw a row between Unionists and Nationalists over the condemnation of recent racist attacks. This style of politics does nothing to inspire young people to remain in Northern Ireland.
“I have been affected by the brain drain. My two sons left Northern Ireland to find better opportunities elsewhere. I am aiming high for a prosperous society that will ensure that the next generation will wish to remain in Northern Ireland.”