My role in Talk Money Week – what’s happening?

It’s Talk Money Week and I’m busy north of the Border. First I’m contributing to a Money Advice Service forum in Edinburgh on Tuesday evening, then chairing the RBS event ‘Financial Capability & Young Workers’ also in Edinburgh on Wednesday, and finally I’m speaking at the Talk Money Scotland conference in Aberdeen on Friday.  

Here’s my report for The Herald.

A new era of thinking on financial education and knowhow will be heralded next week at Talk Money Week events in Scotland.

Royal Bank of Scotland and Edinburgh University will stage an event in the capital exploring the money skills of young people starting work, Aberdeen will host the Talk Money Scotland Conference, and a Money Advice Service reception in Edinburgh will mark the Year of Young People.

The annual programme, part of the UK’s Financial Capability Strategy, follows publication last month of evidence from 65 projects funded by the Money Advice Service’s What Works Fund, aimed at finding out what actually works – or doesn’t work – in financial education.  Among the organisations reporting were Young Scot, Age Scotland and Shelter Scotland in the first large-scale and joined-up attempt to understand how best to help people improve their own finances.

Young Scot found that half of all students were unaware of any services in college or university that could help with money management or budgeting. Support was provided on an institution-by-institution basis, and there was no consistent provision in terms of access or quality.

Students tended to press the support button only when they were in crisis and needed an emergency lifeline from hardship funds. Those providing the services meanwhile did not necessarily have the right financial product knowledge or the interpersonal and networking skills.

Young Scot said recruiting a group of 17-23-year-olds to run the programme had produced positive results. “The young people on the panel generated ideas and solutions that reflect the reality of young people’s experience.”

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