News & Events

Financial Education is Vital – But Not for the Reason You Think

Michael Mercieca's blog for the Huffington Post UK

Young people have grown up with the economic crisis, the great recession, the threat of terrorism and savage global conflicts. Michael Mercieca’s latest blog for the Huffington Post explains how introducing young people early to the world of enterprise, financial education and building employability could hold the key to helping the next generation succeed.

“When it comes to the debate on financial and enterprise education in UK schools, there’s a powerful standard argument: children need to learn how to manage, spend and save their money; they also need to learn to be employable; these things enable adults to be productive members of society and control their own future. And that’s good for the UK economy. But the other day I came across another very compelling – and very worrying – argument.

“Earlier this year, noted economist Professor Noreena Hertz from University College London conducted a survey on the attitudes of British and American girls aged between 13 and 20 years old. The findings are startling and led Hertz to coin the term ‘Generation K’, after Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the Hunger Games films.

Writing in the Financial Times, Hertz says: ‘Many of those in their twenties and thirties – the ‘Yes we can’ generation – grew up believing the world was their oyster. But for Generation K the world is less oyster and more Hobbesian nightmare. […] They are a group for whom there are disturbing echoes of the dystopian landscape Katniss encounters in The Hunger Games‘s District 12. Unequal, violent, hard.’

“Technology has shaped this new Generation K. Born after the advent of the internet, they can access all the information they need, can communicate with friends and family instantly and think globally rather than locally. But they’ve also been shaped by incredibly negative forces: the economic crisis, the great recession, the almost constant threat of terrorism and savage global conflicts. Add to this the constant talk of university debt, cuts and austerity, and the less positive aspects of modern technology: the peer pressure of social media, the shock-horror online news media, and the ability to spend money online at the tap of a button in an almost cashless-world.”

Read the full article on the Huffington Post website.