Today sees the launch of a new nationwide financial education scheme for young people not in employment, education or training.
Developed by Barclays and run in conjunction with a group of national charities, Money Skills ‘Champions’ is a programme designed to build the money management skills of young people.
Barclays are investing £15 million into the scheme, and by working with youth charities including, Action for Children, the National Skills Academy for Financial Services and the National Youth Agency, hope to help one million people by the end of 2012.
Tower Hamlets was one of the eight original pilot areas in which the scheme was tested with young people aged 16 to 25 earlier this year and proved very successful.
Barclays Money Skills will now become a national programme that will help young people to develop and improve their financial skills, knowledge and confidence. The programme aims to tackle topics such as opening a bank account, budgeting, saving and spending, and give practical guidance on what to do if they find themselves in financial trouble.
Most of the ‘champions’ are young people who were not previously in employment, education or training (NEET). Through the project young people from Tower Hamlets learnt about different career pathways at Barclays, and took part in a CV writing workshop with help from Barclays volunteers. They also took a guided tour of the Barclays HQ building and gained a first-hand insight into how the organisation works.
Fiona Blacke, Chief Executive of the National Youth Agency, said: “We know that young people face significant challenges managing their money, and often reach out to their friends for help and advice. By building a national network of young people who are armed with strong financial skills and the knowledge to share this information with their peers, we are helping to ensure that they are appropriately equipped to negotiate financial problems.
“The Barclays Money Skills programme will prepare young people with vital financial skills and knowledge to support themselves and their friends. We are delighted that this significant investment is being made into young people’s futures.”
Once the Money Skills ‘champions’ have completed their training, they will then gain further training so that they are able to pass on the skills that they have learnt to their peers.