Financial services and school – like oil and water

Hattie / 21st Aug, 2017 / News

Britain’s young people say they learn little or nothing at school about personal finance; and just under half of 16 to 24 year olds would not consider a career in financial services.

Young people think Financial Services is ‘not for me’, it’s for graduates – talent is being lost as result of these misconceptions says school leaver and graduate scheme Investment2020.

A lack of teaching about money matters and personal finances in schools is impacting the ability of financial services firms to attract talent, according to a leading financial services school leaver and graduate scheme. According to a survey, commissioned by Investment2020, nearly seven in ten (68%) school leavers say they learnt very little, or nothing at school about personal finance and financial services – only 3% say they learnt a lot on these topics.

The survey of over 1,500 young people aged 16 to 24, conducted by Youth Sight, found only one in ten (10%) young people learnt about the subjects at school. Young people say the most common source of their knowledge about personal finance is family and friends (60%).

An overwhelming majority of young people (73%) believe a university degree is needed to be able to work in the financial services sector.  Only 9% believe it is possible to secure a job through an apprenticeship and even fewer (2%) believe they can secure a role on leaving school.

Financial services: unattractive to young people

Just under half (46%) of respondents said they would not like to work in Financial Services, with a third of this group expressing concern that the industry was “not for people like me”.

When offered a list of sectors they could work in, Financial Services was chosen by 16% of respondents. The sectors young Brits would most like to work in are: science and pharmaceuticals (24%), education (22%), and creative arts and design (21%); while sales and transport are the least popular sectors to work in, 3% and 2% respectively.

Commenting, Karis Stander, Managing Director of Investment2020, said: 

“A greater level of education in schools about personal finances and financial services could help drive more young people to consider a career in the sector, but it will also help build their understanding and interest in saving and investing for their futures.


It is concerning to think that young people do not feel they are learning enough at school, and they will not ‘fit in’.

“Despite being one of the biggest sectors, that employs hundreds and thousands of people across the country, too many of today’s youth are discounting financial services as an attractive career choice. The sector is in need of talent more than ever before – particularly creative thinkers from diverse backgrounds. Fortunately, investment companies are starting to see the light. They recognise that the traditional recruitment programme is no longer enough if they want to encourage more young people to join the financial services industry.

“Investment2020, along with other trainee programmes, is actively working with companies to break down this perception, having helped place over 1,000 trainees in the investment management industry. However, more firms need to join this wave of change.”


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