Today’s blog comes from Child & Youth Finance International.
More than ever, there is recognition about the importance of financial capability amongst children and youth.
Financial capability across the UK remains a critical issue, and with rising debts amongst youth, high levels of youth unemployment and challenges for young people buying their first homes, it is essential we make sure the next generation are equipped to be financially capable and confident.
Integrating approaches to invest in youth
The money-management skills and habits we use as adults are developed when we are young. Studies have shown that early financial inclusion and education has a positive impact on having control of one’s financial situation, which underlines the need for effective support for young people.
An integrated approach to financial education and financial inclusion ensures children and youth not only receive financial, social and livelihoods education, but are able to apply their money management skills to accessing quality banking services and understand how financial systems work.
There is great value in enabling young people to build foundational skills, develop essential competencies, foster relationships, and begin acquiring core assets that will serve them, their families and their wider communities.
Yet, many children and youth don’t receive the education and access to services they need. In order to support the capabilities of tomorrow’s adults, collaboration is crucial to create real change.
In our work with the global network dedicated to enhancing the financial capabilities of children and youth, Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) have found that it is possible to incentivize partners and collaborators around supporting systemic change at a range of levels.
At an international level, CYFI work to facilitate advocacy events such as Global Money Week (GMW), to create awareness and a call to action for individuals, communities, institutions and organizations alike. Aligning interests and strategies to create far-reaching social impact by working with international institutions and organizations such as the G20 and their Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) establishes a global precedent for enhancing the financial capabilities of young people.
Collaboration is also crucial at national levels. In the UK, key events such as Financial Capability Week provide a fantastic opportunity for representatives from different parts of society to get together to raise awareness about low levels of financial literacy and the effects of economic exclusion.
Efforts by CYFI partner, the Money Advice Service and the Financial Capability Strategy in activating employers, decision-makers, educators and organizations during the week illustrates the extent to which financial capability is shaped by all aspects of life and how it affects us at any age. Engaging with a range of sectors is imperative to align goals and establish concrete frameworks for action.
The UK has made great strides in addressing low levels of financial capabilities amongst young people, but there is still work to be done. We must make the most of opportunities to work together to share expertise and resources and propel joint actions, to ensure today’s youth are the capable citizens of tomorrow.