Forget Candy Crush Saga, what about the latest app that teaches young people something about finance? On this morning’s Young Money show on Share Radio, co-host Iona talked about Generation Pause and led a studio discussion on how youngsters can find the career that will inspire them.
A new report says Generation Y are becoming Generation Pause – putting their lives on hold and having to remain dependent on their family. It found fewer than 1 in 5 adults under 30 were proactively managing their finances and budgeting, with the big life decisions increasingly being put off into the 30s.
“So many young people don’t know what they will be doing in 2 or 3 years never mind 5 or 10,” Iona said, making it difficult to decide to get on the housing ladder or think about marriage.
In most cases young people require some help from bank of Mum & Dad, if it’s available, and it is frustrating if you have to put life events on hold.
Next up, Iona spotted an Esurv survey which found the tightening of criteria for approving mortgages has disproportionately affected first-time buyers – the so-called ‘mortgage market review’ means lenders now have to take into account outgoings such as pension payments and student loans.
She quoted pensions minister Steve Webb’s concern that young people will be put off long-term saving if they think it will affect their ability to buy their first home.
Following the fuss over Tory MP Nigel Mills caught playing Candy Crush Saga during a pensions debate in the Commons, Iona wondered whether there should be a must-have app that will help young people budget at Christmas?
The Topcashback website has found most young people haven’t done any planning – so what about the YourMoney app, which makers hope will be as addictive as Candy Crush Saga?
To test people’s knowledge on a couple of key numbers, the Chartered Securities and Investment Institute (CISI) – put questions to the public: what is the minimum wage for an 18-year-old (£5.13) and how much does it cost to send a student to uni for a year (£17,000).
“These are the biggest issues facing young people, the cost of university and the world of work,” Iona said.
She then welcomed to the studio Matt Bolton, teaching and learning specialist at CISI, which has devised the YourMoney app.
Matt is a former business teacher now working with schools which teach CISI qualifications at key stages 4 and 5.
He said the new app aims to get young people to compete with one another over financial knowledge – “App technology appeals to young people, it is something where you can have a bit more fun”.
Matt said a massive part of the CISI’s work was to educate young people about the careers are available, when the financial world tends to be by pupils and by undergraduates seen as just accountancy.
Iona wondered whether financial education can be picked up and put down like a game and should young people have more concentrated exposure to financial concepts.
Matt said the app complements other ways of talking about financial education and literacy, there has been a lot of progress in financial education over the last few years including the inclusion of PF in maths and citizenship after a lot of campaigning involving PFEG and CISI among others.
“An app isn’t the solution but is something that will complement existing initiatives.”
Iona said apps have been around for a while, why has it taken so long?
Matt said timing is right now because “we are starting to establish it in the curriculum and it is becoming more important to young people”.
CISI will also be developing materials that teachers can use in the classroom based on the app, which already has different levels of difficulty, which will range across numeracy challenges and other areas.
Iona said this might be the first app that could be taken into account in assessing educational qualifications. May we be seeing digital education playing a bigger part?
Matt said alternative methods of delivery already exist and teaching is no longer just about blackboard or whiteboards, schools have virtual learning environments and this is a trend that we are building on.
Iona moved on to talk about a recent conference which questioned whether too many youngsters being controlled by pushy mothers and fathers with a “spreadsheet approach to education”, with young people going into certain careers to please their parents, and under big pressures to gain top grades to get the only jobs worth having.
She asked whether this is a sensible precaution, or can it be counter-productive? Can young people be unaware of lucrative and fulfilling careers that are out there?
Iona said it’s been said that 90% of primary school pupils will go into careers that haven’t been invented yet, and there is a big emphasis on STEM subjects ( science technology maths and engineering) that have an image problem.
For instance, girls are inclined to see engineering and technology as uncool. That’s not the case in countries such as India where there is an equal split in young people studying computing sciences, Iona said.
Co-host Georgie Frost asked whether it is largely down to family influence. Matt said much of it comes back to what kind of careers advice is available and some of the things that aren’t being said or done in schools and about the careers are available.
CISI did a YouGov survey on financial services careers and the two main perceptions were that it is “boring and full of numbers”, Matt said. In fact relationship-building and technology are major parts. One of the main sources of misinformation is parents being pushy but out of date.
Matt said the government’s recent announcement to fund a new initiative on a careers company was welcome – because how many things does a teacher need to do?
Iona said what about connecting employers not just with teachers and children but also with parents who have out of date perceptions about careers? Matt said getting the message across to young people now will mean the next generation will be better informed parents.
Iona said kids do have to pick certain subjects at GCSE and A level to have certain pathways open. You can’t always have the luxury of waiting until school is finished to decide what you want to do.
Matt said all the same we shouldn’t pigeonhole people at too young an age, people nowadays do move from job to job, and there are options later when your qualifications don’t necessarily lead to a particular pathway
Matt said there are now far more options for young people, with apprenticeships becoming more accessible. “It is not all about going to university, employers are now more open to giving opportunities to people without a degree. “
Georgie said it is about parents understanding that the world they grew up in is different. Iona said surely the annual meeting between teachers and parents is an opportunity to talk about kids’ strengths and possible options?
Matt said schools have had responsibility for delivering careers advice since 2012, some schools do it fantastically well, others don’t. Some schools have great work-related programmes where employers come in to talk about their firms. A career is a massive decision, and it comes back to the quality of support and advice for young people.
It’s more confusing and stressful but there are also a lot of opportunities .
Iona said there had been 62 per cent rise in calls to Childline about exam pressures between 2012 and 2013.
Hannah Naima McCloskey on right
Iona asked Hanna Naima McCloskey from the 30% Club whether she had chosen her career early. Hanna, in an inspiring conclusion to the show, told Iona said what was clear that young women in particular needed to see they had far more options than they were told by the media, their families,and society more broadly.
Hannah said: “Do what makes your heart sing, find your passion and what inspires you, that is my advice to young people.”
Tune in next week for another great show, Share Radio, Friday morning, 9.15 !!