Thousands of students benefit from private lessons in finance

Esther Klijn & Abi-Gayle Fearon with St Bernard students Reece Wright-McDonald, Ciava Walsh and Harvey Aitken

Secondary school pupils on the Furness Peninsula received a life lesson in finances when team members from a local accountancy firm arrived.

JF Hornby & Co agreed to be a delivery partner for the Furness Education and Skills Partnership’s Build My Skills initiative earlier this year.

The accounting firm’s team has just completed a tour of high schools in the region, where it spoke with hundreds of 10th graders over three weeks.

Sessions were facilitated by Accounting Assistant Esther Klijn, Accounting Manager Paula Boyd, Accounting Assistant Catherine Steur and Senior Accounting Assistant Abi-Gayle Fearon.

Esther said: ‘It was great to be able to talk to young people in so many schools and give them some insight into how they will need to control their personal finances as they leave school and start their journey of coming of age. adult.

“There are so many things to consider when it comes to savings, wages, bills and being responsible with money and as a leading accountancy firm in the region, we believe it is our responsibility to play a role in equipping young people with the knowledge they need.”

Earlier this year, new data highlighted that many young people are struggling to manage their finances.

The number of applicants for debt service assistance (including current accounts) increased by 205%, from 951 in 2016/17 to 2,899 in 2020/21.

Figures show that in the last five years alone, the number of requests for help received by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) from 16-24 year olds has more than tripled.

JF Hornby & Co Managing Director Paul Hornby said: “Financial education is so important. The sessions we have given will not solve the very real problems related to young people and finances. But they will start the conversation and encourage them to think about money management.

“We believe that the key to young adults having a positive relationship with their finances is to offer them insight and support before they enter the world of further education, learning or career. job.

“This is just the start of what we hope will be a long and productive partnership with FESP and the Build My Skills initiative.”

The Build My Skills program involves more than 20 schools. Sessions covering a variety of areas aimed at equipping and inspiring young people are held throughout the school year. Other companies involved include BAE Systems, 32West, Oxley Developments, the NHS, GSK, Cumbria Community Police, Barrow Raiders and Barrow AFC.

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