MPs outline measures to help young manage money

A 36-page report released last week by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on financial educataion for young people, called for more support for vulnerable young adults, many of whom had left care, had a limited education, and were now struggling to make ends meet.

While recognising the government’s decision to introduce financial education to the national curriculum as a positive step, the report also called on organisations who work with the vulnerable to do more to ensure that promoting financial capability was “embedded” in their policies.

The report, a result of a 10 month inquiry, also called on financial institutions to provide appropriate advice around money management, and for the government to ensure that staff at bodies including Job Centre Plus, the NHS and youth courts helped them to manage their money.

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Local authorities were also urged to develop strategies which improve financial capability and partner with the voluntary sector to offer training opportunities to staff dealing with vulnerable young people.

The paper said: “In order to be effective, practitioners working with vulnerable young people need to have the skills and confidence to address money matters.”

The recommendations were welcomed by Caroline Rookes, chief executive of the Money Advice Service. She said: “Vulnerable young adults are significantly less likely to find it easy to live within their means, feel comfortable with money, or understand the importance of saving for the future.”

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Carl Good a Harrogate-based chartered financial planner who has taught financial education to children at his local school, said: “It’s very important people have a background to finance at a young age, and it can improve people’s lives. I’m working with homeless young people at the moment, and it’s so easy for them to slide into this situation.”