A panel of six men and six women, debate the issues important to their lives, in particular unemployment and discrimination.

A number of the young panellists feel they have been discriminated against because of their appearance. Deko, vocalist with Dublin punk band Paranoid Visions gets barred from places because of how he is dressed. He believes such a judgemental attitude could demoralise young people and result in them turning away from society.

It’s easy to get in to trouble, and it's easy like, to get alienated and just not bother looking for jobs.

When Alison, a qualified hairdresser by profession, started job seeking, she was discriminated against because of her appearance. It was only when she toned down her look that she was able to get onto her chosen career path. 

But because of that, changing to get a job, it's where I am now.

A male panellist also changed his appearance because he needed a job. He wants to be a journalist and knows to succeed he will have to look a certain way if he is to be taken seriously.

Another woman points out a deeper level of discrimination happening, particularly in Dublin, as she finds young people are discriminated against because of where they live, where they are from, and their accent. She also says young people are discriminated against because of their education, or lack of it, and this often makes it difficult to get a job.

This woman is scathing about the Irish education system, whereas another female panellist, Jackie, disagrees with her point of view.

You can't just dismiss education at secondary, or even at third level...in the end it will pay off.

While many young people will never get past second level education, there are numerous creative courses for them to take. Deko complains these ultimately do not provide employment, nor a decent wage and are mainly

Something to do to keep you off the dole, or keep you out of trouble, I mean, it's a farce.

The episode of 'Facts of Life' was broadcast on 22 July 1987. The reporter is Carolyn Fisher.