Why we do it
Everyone needs to be able to manage their money, it is just common sense. But for young people the inability to do so has serious consequences. For them, it is easier to fall into debt, be scammed, make uninformed decisions and establish bad money habits.
The need for effective financial education is now a right – especially for vulnerable young people.
UK personal debt is at a record £1.4 trillion, around £9,000 per person; this is hardly surprising given that 90% of the UK population have never received any form of money management lessons. Youth unemployment stalks Europe and the traditional routes to employment are changing. This generation will have to make smarter financial decisions and create their own opportunities.
Need for Financial Education
Young people engage with money from an ever earlier age but face a financially challenging future.
When MyBnk started in 2007, just 10% of UK adults had received any form of financial education. Today 41% of students do. MyBnk joined others in successfully campaigning to get money lessons on to England’s national curriculum, up to GCSE level.
However, given timetabling pressures, the absence of extra funding and limited specialist training, evidence and experience tells us schools are struggling to become experts and deliver impactful lessons. Moreover, 50% of students in academies, sixth forms, colleges and free and independent schools are not required to be taught money skills. This is against a backdrop where 39% of teachers feel financial education, as it is currently taught, will make no difference to how young people see monetary issues (Nationwide).
Need for Enterprise Education
Youth unemployment and long-term joblessness is still stubbornly high. Record numbers of young people are starting their own business, yet fewer than 4% go on to create a company that pays a wage or makes a profit (RBS).
Young people can now expect to have nine jobs over the course of a 48-year career (LV=Insurance). Yet, there is a chronic skills gap contributing to a stubbornly high unemployment rate of nearly a million 18-24 year olds – 188,000 of those long-term.
Government initiatives to support entrepreneurialism, like Start-up Loans and Enterprise Allowances, work best when skills are developed earlier. The ability to assess risk and learn from failure improves soft and employability skills such as leadership, communication and problem-solving. Everyone needs enterprise skills, even if you are not starting your own business
Enterprise also helps bring financial knowledge to life and can provide a successful route to long-term participation in the job market.