Financial literacy: a hands-on approach for students

Financial literacy: a hands-on approach for students

Earlier this year, the Federal Government invited the states and territories to participate in a new agreement that will support the expansion of a financial literacy program in schools for a further four years.

In 2017, an OECD international student assessment report found around 20% of 15-year-olds in Australia did not have basic financial literacy.

This is further compounded by a national survey of parents with kids between the ages of 8-17 years which revealed 43% of parents believe their children don’t learn enough about money at school.

The research found that more than a third of those surveyed were ‘worried’ about their children’s understanding of digital money.

To address this, a finance brokerage has launched a program to boost the financial literacy skills of students through giving them work experience in the financial services sector.

The Founder and Principal of Astute Ability Finance Group, Mhairi MacLeod, is providing internships for local students with her Central Coast NSW-based company.

The internships follow MacLeod’s efforts with the School Entrepreneurs Program, a joint initiative by Astute Ability Finance Group and the MFAA to teach high-school aged students to run a real start-up business as part of their commerce or economics class, with brokers delivering the lessons on a voluntary basis.

MacLeod said she was also eager to try and offer a pathway for young Australians into the financial services industry through an intern program.

“We want to give back to the profession and providing an avenue for students to gain vital real-life experience in the financial services sector is one way to do that,” she said.

“I know from my own experiences there are limited opportunities for students to obtain valuable work experience and we are keen at Astute Ability Finance Group to make this program a major part of the firm’s fabric.”

“We have also made great progress with the School Entrepreneurs Program around the country and are working with the Australasian Academy of Mentoring and Coaching [AAMC] to establish a Certificate III in Business for students who want to pursue a career in financial services.”

Astute Ability Finance Group’s first intern, St Joseph’s Catholic College East Gosford Year 11 student Bridie Cartwright, said she had thoroughly enjoyed her internship and seeing how a financial services business operates.

“I’ve learnt a lot, particularly the amount of effort the staff put in,” Cartwright said.

“I know when I finish school I want to go on to do something that relates to business as it really interests me.”