Scotland marks Financial Education Week
24 Mar 17
Credit unions have been involved in Scotland’s first national Financial Education Week.
Launched in partnership with Education Scotland, the Money Advice Service and the Scottish Financial Capability Partnership, the week of events from 20-24 March is designed to raise awareness of the importance of financial education across Scotland, bringing together industry leaders, policy makers, academics and others.
Financial education for Scotland’s young people is an incredibly important issue. Recent research from the Money Advice Service on levels of financial capability among Scotland’s children found that thousands are seriously unprepared to manage their money in later life.
The results showed that of 16-17 year olds across Scotland – those about to leave full-time education – 31% do not have a current account, and of those that do, a quarter (26%) have no experience of putting money into it. Furthermore, a worrying 55% are unable to read a pay slip.
Engaging young people in managing their money from a young age is a vital step to giving them the skills and confidence needed to cope financially in later life. Schools have a vital role to play in this – over 90% of young people who received financial education in schools said they found it useful, though less than half (46%) of those surveyed said they’d actually received financial education.
Financial Education Week aims to draw attention to this issue. Events have taken place across the week, organised in conjunction with the Scottish Government, the University of Edinburgh, Young Scot and Lloyds Banking Group, among others.
The week began with a reception at the Scottish Parliament which was hosted by the Convener of the Cross-Party Group on Credit Unions Ruth Maguire MSP and addressed by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security & Equalities Angela Constance MSP. And the week has drawn to a close with a special Financial Education Conference at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium, which included a workshop run by Pioneer Mutual Credit Union.
Education Scotland’s Strategic Director Alan Armstrong said: “It is important that we help raise the status and profile of financial education given the challenges that young people face both now and in the future. The range of workshops and organisations involved in Financial Education Week and the Financial Education Conference is a strong indication of the good work that is taking place and the support that is available for local authorities, schools and teachers to ensure that young people are better prepared to meet these challenges.”