"There needs to be a change in the way that we, as a nation, perceive money. And I think that the best method of achieving that is by teaching children the value and importance of it, from a young age."
School children should be taught practical life skills, such as the importance of managing money, saving a deposit and how to secure a mortgage – that’s the message from Kate Burns, director of Huddersfield-based mortgage firm KB Mortgage Services.
The statement comes ahead of World Youth Skills Day (Sunday 15th July) and on the back of a recent report by the Resolution Foundation which suggests that one in three millennials will never own their own home.
“Home ownership levels are lower than they’ve ever been, with many young people believing that they’ll never even step foot on the ladder,” comments Kate. “Debt issues are simultaneously on the rise – Citizens Advice reported a 21% increase in 2018 on the previous 12 months, for example.
“There needs to be a change in the way that we, as a nation, perceive money. And I think that the best method of achieving that is by teaching children the value and importance of it, from a young age.”
Kate says that teenagers should pick up these practical skills in maths lessons – such as how to build a credit rating and avoid getting into debt.
“This would give children the right mindset when entering the ‘real world’ and help them to make better financial choices throughout their early adulthood. Many children learn about money from their parents, but if their parents have bad financial management, then they may face the same difficulties.
“In instances where teachers are not qualified to teach on the subject, external parties could be brought in to support their training – much like what would happen in a specialist PE lesson. It’s all about giving them confidence and understanding to make sound decisions.”
Kate Burns is the founder and director of mortgage advice and protection insurance firm, KB Mortgage Services.