Financial Skills Pay Off
I read an article a few days ago in which the author said that the best advice anyone could give a millenial about finance, was to pay off credit card debt and learn to save.
I am sure that this sounds eminently sensible – who would advocate the opposite? – but it is typical of the persistent flaw in the way that we approach the huge question of preparing young adults for the world of independent living, symbolised too often by dispensing wisdom without regard for the vastly changed circumstances facing the millenials and other young adults.
The world of 2017 is fundamentally different to the world of 2007, never mind anything much further back than that.
This is the world of post-financial meltdown and the global crisis that started in 2008.
- It is the world of Brexit and the fresh challenges that will bring.
- It is the world of restricted access to the mortgage market, and massive and fast rising rents, especially in London and the south-east.
- It is the world of zero hours contracts, short terms working, less job security and much greater risk and instability.
- It is the world of the gig economy and wide spread self-employment.
- It is the world of graduate debt and the breaking of the link between a good degree and entrance into a stable, well paid, pensionable job.
- It is a world in which pious lectures about paying off debt and saving for a rainy day sound hollow, however well intentioned, and it is a world in which we need to devise a new and different way of preparing our young people for a world far more turbulent and unpredictable than the one my generation came to maturity in in the 1970s, and the 1980s.
We have been at the coal face in schools up and down the country for the last five years, delivering a programme called Keep the Cash! which is designed to equip young adults with a robust set of durable skills, which they can adapt to the circumstances they find themselves in as they start on their journey into adulthood and employment.
We have refined and improved Keep the Cash! through the input of thousands of young people whose real life experiences have helped us to fashion our programme ever more exactly to meet their needs and to reflect their real experiences.
What young people need is training and education to develop a set of practical skills that will help them to plot their own course and build their own independent and solvent lives, they can do without the cliches and the well intentioned sermons.
Design Colin James Web