Fair Deal: Money Skills

The young people we work with have big worries about how to manage money and avoid financial problems like debt.

The confidence to have ambition. The self-esteem to try. The skills to keep your life in order – paying rent, shopping smart, even saving.

These are all building blocks of adulthood. But not everyone starts out with them. A chaotic or traumatic childhood, patchy school attendance, moving home often, little stability – these can leave young people with gaps in their learning and their emotional development.

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It’s never too late to close those gaps, but the young people we work with need some extra help to do so. They’re more likely to leave home or become parents earlier than their peers. It’s at these moments that they most need non-judgmental, practical and emotional support.

It’s time the Government recognised that helping them now will pay dividends later. Looking for work. Holding down a job and a home. Raising a family. These are easier when you have the desire and the know-how to manage money.

They need a champion in Government who will push colleagues to ensure that a range of services – from employment programmes to parenting courses – are able to spot disadvantaged young people and get them the support they need, when they need it.

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