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Delivering financial education to support the next generation

19th September 2023

As the UK’s Best Building Society 2023, we’re delighted to announce we’re working in partnership with Young Enterprise to deliver a financial education programme to young people in local secondary schools and education centres. 

Young Enterprise is a national charity built upon the vision that every young person should have the opportunity to learn the vital skills and mindset needed to earn and manage their money.  

As a proud mutual organisation committed to positively impacting local communities, we’re delighted to be working with Young Enterprise to launch this new financial education programme, ‘Learn to Earn’.  

With limited financial education support being offered to young adults in the local area, this programme has been designed to both identify and close this knowledge gap. The curriculum will explore themes such as financial planning, tax and the cost of living, budgeting, personal skills and talents, and much more.  

Darren Ditchburn, Deputy Chief Executive from Leek Building Society, said: 

“We’re excited to partner with Young Enterprise in delivering this programme, benefitting up to 550 young people in our local communities each year. We understand that far too many young people leave education without the essential knowledge or financial capabilities, leaving them vulnerable to future financial harm. Our goal is to inspire and empower young people from an early age, equipping them to take control of their finances and enabling them to make better, informed decisions when navigating their financial futures.”

Research shows that too many young people leave school without the financial capability skills, or the mindset needed to make informed financial decisions and avoid financial exploitation and problem debt. Nearly 5.3 million of the UK’s children and young people don’t receive meaningful financial education. (Money and Pension Service, 2020). 

According to thisismoney.co.uk, 37% of 18–24-year-olds are already in debt and owe as much as £2,989 on average. Only 27% said they knew what their credit rating is or how it affects them, and 37% of those in debt have no plan to repay the money.  

In an effort to combat this locally, the ‘Learn to Earn’ programme will be delivered by Young Enterprise’s trained specialists to 11 secondary schools each year, targeting those located in each of the towns where we hold branches.  

We’ll work in collaboration with Young Enterprise to identify schools deemed as most in need. The sessions aim to motivate and encourage pupils to consider financial plans for the future, set goals and think about their future study options. Pupils will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to make successful transitions to the next stage of their life. The programme will provide a valuable and realistic insight into the financial costs of living to match the lifestyle they want for the future. They’ll learn about the earnings needed to meet their expectations and typical types of careers which could potentially fund their future lifestyle plans. 

Sharon Davies, CEO from Young Enterprise, said: 

“Leek Building Society will be playing a crucial role in helping young people to build the vital skills needed to earn and look after their money. A solid financial education will help young people feel more confident in navigating the current cost of living crisis and an increasingly cashless society. Improving young people’s financial capability is not only hugely beneficial to them as individuals, but also to their families, their communities and to wider society. Young Enterprise celebrates Leek’s commitment to making a positive difference to their members and local communities.”