On Tuesday 21st March, local MSP Ruth Maguire hosted an evening reception in the Scottish Parliament to mark the launch of Financial Education Week 2017, which runs from 20 – 24 March.

The week,  launched in partnership with Education Scotland, the Money Advice Service and the Scottish Financial Capability Partnership, is designed to raise awareness of the importance of financial education across Scotland. Events will take place across the week, organised in conjunction with the Scottish Government, the University of Edinburgh, Young Scot and Lloyds Banking Group.

The Holyrood evening reception was attended by guest speaker Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security & Equalities. Representatives of Money Advice Scotland, the Money Advice Service, Education Scotland also addressed the event, along with young people involved in the Llyods Money for Life Programme.

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 results show that thousands are seriously unprepared to manage their money in later life.

The results showed that 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.

Commenting, Ruth said:

‘It was my great pleasure to launch Financial Education Week in the Scottish Parliament. It is of huge importance that our young people are confident and informed about how to manage their finances before they leave school – these are skills for life.

The range of workshops and organisations involved in Financial Education Week demonstrates the great work that is taking place to ensure that young people are better prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of life.

Speaking to Mark, Andrew and David at the event, it was clear how much their experience of the Lloyds Money for Life programme had transformed their approach to their finances and provided them with strong foundations for managing their money throughout the rest of their lives.’

Yvonne MacDermid, Chief Executive, Money Advice Scotland, added:

‘We applaud this fresh collaborative approach in launching Scotland’s first national Financial Education week.This is a real opportunity for us to raise the issues faced by people in Scotland, particularly those of our young people. Financial education isn’t just “a nice to have” but a “must have” and this initiative helps put financial education firmly on the map.’