Celebrating Financial Education, but there’s still work to be done

By Nick Jones, Former Head of Digital Comms and CSR • Visa Europe

May 12, 2016

The home of the British Chancellor of the Exchequer is an appropriate venue for supporters of Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading enterprise education charity. Visa Europe supports both it and Junior Achievement Europe, the federation to which it belongs. That’s why entrepreneurs, school teachers and business leaders recently converged on 11 Downing Street to celebrate financial education in the UK.

Speakers at the event ranged from Greg Hands, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to primary school teachers. While financial education has traditional targeted high school and college students there is a trend to educate primary school ages too.

Young Enterprise provides pupils and students with entrepreneurial experiences. Last year over 338,000 young people gained skills that will help them turn ideas into actions, start a company or help them enter the working world. Visa Europe is keen that such experiences really do help prepare students for the practicalities of working life, so we’re partnering with Junior Achievement Europe to survey businesses about what they need from financial education programmes like these.

Helping them gain that experience have been over 6,000 volunteers from businesses, including Visa Europe. Our volunteers have worked with schools and universities in the UK and countries across Europe.

Financial literacy in the UK, as measured by one key metric, is 36%, compared with a European average of 30%. However, the leading countries score 58%. This measure and others have been compiled by the OECD in its recent Trends and Recent Developments in Financial Education in Europe. The report is sponsored by Visa Turkey.

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