When the young people of today grow up, they will be faced with a tremendous amount of tough financial decisions. According to research conducted by the Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG), approximately three-quarters of 15 year olds that have a bank account, already own a debit card and 64% will already have a building society or bank before they start secondary school.
Children need to gain better financial knowledge so they can make informed choices. Unlike previous generations before them, they will bear an even greater financial risk because of their increased life expectancy, uncertain job prospects and a decrease in welfare benefits.
Up to the age of 11, parents are the main influence on a child’s understanding of money. So if the family is involved in their child’s financial education, it might encourage positive financial behaviour that will give them a step up when they need to make important monetary decisions later in life.
However it shouldn’t just be the responsibility of the family to encourage financial responsibility. Financial education within schools is seen as the best way to reach children on a large scale. Learning can begin as early as nursery and should progress through primary and secondary school.
Almost 75% of UK employers say that it’s hard to find the right employee for entry-level jobs. An understanding of how finance works is one of the skills an employer might look for when screening potential job candidates. Also, 43% say that young people don’t have the skills to enter the workforce straight after school; this could potentially be rectified by a change in school curriculums.
Support for finance in schools
According to PFEG’s reports, the support for finance to be introduced into the curriculum is overwhelming. The research found that 94% of teachers, 90% of young people and 79% of parents think that financial education should be taught in schools.