Their future, their rights

Having survived my trial by early-morning TV this week, I thought it would be interesting to take a moment to reflect on the experience, and on the survey I was there to talk about.

The headline findings of this survey (commissioned to support our new guide to money for young people My Money, My Rights) showed that students are concerned about the costs and benefits of Higher Education, that 70% of young people would like to learn more about money management at school, and that 4 out of 5 teenagers are worried about the impact of the recession when they leave full time education. Since talking about these findings I’ve witnessed first hand how the same statistics can be picked up and marshalled to support a wide number of causes. For example, one statistic has been presented as proof of the need to introduce financial education as a new statutory subject, another as a damning indictment of tuition fees in University.

So, what do I think these statistics show? Firstly, I think they show young people taking a really responsible attitude to their futures; they are crying out to learn more about money in order to make informed choices about their lives – shouldn’t we be recognising and responding to this? Secondly, that young people are concerned about the current economic crisis (2/3 of young people in our survey told us they worry about money), so we should be making sure that they are engaged in discussions about rebuilding our economic system in the future – after all, they are the ones who will live with the consequences of our decisions.

Views expressed on this blog are not necessarily those of the Citizenship Foundation.

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