Ipse calls for better finance education in schools to support self-employment

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Ipse has called on the government to introduce a new module into schools in a bid to support those who may wish to move into self-employment later in life. The organisation wants a Work and Life Skills module that covers self-employment and finances as part of the national curriculum at Key Stage Three or Four.

This follows on from a report from the Money Advice Service, which found that teenagers are not prepared to deal with their finances after school. The service's findings revealed that a third of those aged 16 to 17 had never paid money into a bank, while two-thirds were unable to read a payslip.

A survey of 5,000 youngsters aged between four and 17, which also included questions for parents, found that there were a number of concerns about teenagers understanding of finances, especially as many of them were only months away from having access to credit.

While the survey revealed that three in five parents are confident when it comes to talking to their children about money, they do not necessarily think that their own money management is the best example. Some 44 per cent admitted they are not confident about managing their own money while 50 per cent said they didn't save funds regularly.

This is perhaps part of the reason that teenagers did not know which bills should be paid first, what would happen if bills went unpaid and the impact that missed payments could have to their credit rating.

As a result of these findings, Ipse is asking the government to address the knowledge gap that could affect teenagers in later life, especially if they want to become self-employed.

Lydia Wakefield, Ipse's education and training manager, said: “More and more young people are taking the leap into self-employment - but they don’t have a grounding in the necessary skills to get their business on track.

“IPSE calls on government to introduce a Work and Life Skills module, encompassing self-employment, to be embedded in the national curriculum at Key Stage Three or Four. The module should include financial education, basic business principles, basic legal understanding and commercial awareness. As well as a standalone module, enterprise education should also be embedded throughout the curriculum."

She continued to say that young people who enter into self-employment can't be expected to succeed if they don't have the required finance skills, such as budgeting or invoicing. Teaching these things at school could help to support varying career paths and increase the number of successful self-employed people and business owners in the UK.

By Victoria McDonnell

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