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‘Stage not age’ and other key insights from the Financial Education Forum

Like most events, this year’s Financial Education Forum made the most of technology by taking place virtually. On the 23rd of February, Young Money once again provided a platform for organisations and individuals with an interest in financial education policy and programmes. This year’s event featured an impressive range of speakers, including Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at Bank of England, Caroline MacFarland, Founder and Director of Common Vision and Martin Lewis OBE, Founder of MoneySavingExpert.com.

Quarter of UK adults are innumerate

Andy Haldane kicked off the event with some shocking statistics around the current state of financial literacy in the UK, stating that one quarter of UK adults are innumerate, and the UK ranks joint bottom with Albania for adult financial literacy in a league table of 17 OECD nations. But as home to some of the world’s most renowned financial institutions, there are UK companies and organisations with both the knowledge and resource to help. On top of this, the disruption of coronavirus on schooling has put an even bigger dent in the developing of young people’s financial skills.

Through their team of staff delivering talks to students across England and their range of education resources for both primary and secondary school students, Bank of England is making it a priority to develop young people’s financial skills and knowledge at every stage of their education.

Millennials are suspicious of a lack of digital

Caroline MacFarland brought key findings from the Millennials and Money report by Common Vision, which seeks to understand the financial issues facing this specific generation, how they deal day to day with money worries and what support they need to be more financially resilient in the future.

Key findings from the report highlighted that millennials are digital first customers and citizens and attracted to any process that is data-driven, personalised and automated. They are also more comfortable sharing their data online than older generations and see digital as a sign of trustworthiness – they are more suspicious of something that does not have a digital presence. However, word of mouth is still an important factor, especially when it comes to financial guidance, with friends, peers and family members being their most common support.

Common Vision have identified the importance of life-long learning at the different stages of life, with applied learning at each stage, with ‘stage not age’ being the key principle. Collectively the millennial generation encompasses a wide range of young people, young and mature adults transitioning through broadly four key life stages: dependency, independence, towards settlement, settlement and responsibility.

Children are ‘professional learners’

Martin Lewis OBE, although the first to praise financial institutions and organisations for their hard work in creating financial education resources for the national curriculum, felt strongly that developing the financial skills of the next generation should not be banks’ responsibility but the states’.

He also challenged views that financial education is down to the parents – as an expert in finance his children would have a much better understanding of finance than the children of other parents who do not have this understanding. This is why he felt so strongly about it being on the curriculum for all. Children are ‘professional learners’ so embedding financial knowledge and skills while they are at school is the best time to do it.

We’ve loved helping organisations develop meaningful programmes in financial literacy, to create a generation of young people equipped for the future. If your brand is looking to develop education resources in money skills and financial literacy, get in contact with us today to see how we can help you create a programme with real value and reach your desired audience.

About the author

Eloise Turner

Eloise has gained lots of marketing and comms knowledge having worked with a range of organisations in the education, women’s health and global logistics industry. With experience in content creation, copywriting and social media she brings her passion for reaching the younger audience when working on projects for Sport England, LifeSkills created with Barclays and RSPCA.

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