West Yorkshire Trading Standards has developed an inovative and interactive Financial Capability Programme currently being delivered across the North of England. The objective of the initiative is to empower young people with the knowledge to make better financial choices; ultimately to help make them more capable and informed consumers. More confident citizens are able to take greater responsibility for their financial affairs and play a more active role in the market for financial services.
Young people face more responsibilities and challenges than ever and are faced with a complicated array of financial services on offer. They now bear more of the costs of their education; they can access credit more easily and get into financial difficulties more quickly. Far too many young adults leave school unable to make sound financial decisions. Arming them with the necessary skills to better manage their money from the importance of budgeting and not getting into debt, to how to manage their income and plan for the future is all key to economic wellbeing.
The project has reached over 35,000 young people since March 2008. The initiative is aimed at a wide spectrum of young learners within the 16-25 age brackets and has been delivered in a large number of schools and colleges as well as a variety of community organisations such as Housing Associations, Princes Trust, Youth Offending teams, Sure Start centres and Prisons.
The project teaches young people about topics ranging from budgeting to banking, affordable credit, credit agreements, illegal money lending and issues such as identify fraud and phishing scams. The aim being that participants not only acquire the knowledge of basic requirements for money management, but also ‘enterprise’ skills such as team working, communication, leadership, problem solving, creativity, presentation and meeting deadlines, All of which are transferable skills vital in the world of employment.
Recognising that young people’s own financial situations and experiences are key elements of personal finance education, the units are based on a series of characters representing a selection of real-life scenarios they can identify with: a school leaver, a university student, a recent graduate, a single parent, a business woman and a member of the armed forces.
Click here for more information about the topics Money Skills covers:
The Money Skills initiative has been recently been commended at the Municipal Journal Awards and highly commended at the Local Government Yorkshire and Humber Awards finishing 2nd place in a highly competitive category at this year’s event. Click on the logo’s to view our entry submissions:
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