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Business confirms young people are not equipped with key financial skills they need to start their working lives

26 September 2016

•    JA Europe and Visa Europe launch a new report on financial education that analyses the gap between young people’s financial capability and employers’ needs in terms of financial skills and knowledge.
•    Key findings include:

1.    Young people lack ‘financial planning’ and budgeting’ skills, the most missing and needed financial skills to enter the workforce – whether as an entrepreneur or employee.
2.    European educational systems should contribute more to equipping young people with the right financial skills.
3.    A combination of public and private initiatives would be the best way to improve financial literacy.

[Brussels, Belgium, 27 September 2016] JA Europe and Visa Europe launched a survey in March 2016 in order to explore employers’ needs in terms of the financial skills and knowledge of young people entering the workforce. The research was conducted in collaboration with the European Banking Federation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Vienna University of Economics and Business. It combines a pan-European survey of 500 members of the business community to identify the demand of financial skills and 5 national case studies based on the good practices in Poland, Romania, Spain, UK, and Turkey.

The EE-HUB established an ad hoc working group on financial education to provide expert input on the project and drive further discussion within the EE-HUB network.


“Business leaders should be more involved in financial education. It is not only an essential skill that makes young people more attractive to employers, but it’s also important to teach them how to take financial decisions that will improve their lives. This survey clearly shows that they can’t just rely on schools to deliver financial education, they have to step in and build now more effective partnerships with educators,” says Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe.

Key findings show that a vast majority of respondents underlined the fact that young people are not equipped in with key financial skills they need to start their working lives. In addition, future employees and entrepreneurs are perceived to need a different subset of financial skills: ‘analytics and mathematics’ is the most important for employees, whether it’s ‘business administration and management’ for young entrepreneurs. Still, many agree that ‘financial planning’ and budgeting’ are essential skills for both.

How should financial education be delivered? It seems that public and private initiatives are the best way. In the private sector, already 63% of the respondents who are involved in financial education are also engaged in employee volunteering (which they consider as a win-win opportunity). Business representatives also consider that their national education systems need to update their curriculum. While showing interest in being more involved, business respondents mention issues such as time constraints and some schools not motivated to collaborate.
Given the fact that educational reforms take time, this report aims to urge business to get involved. Europe cannot afford to wait and let young graduates miss out on opportunities, just because of a lack of motivation from both the education and business sector.

So who should teach those skills? Schools are considered as the main actor. Parents should be more involved too. Public organisations recognize their potential to contribute, particularly when it comes to preparing young people for entering the workforce as an employee. Finally, NGOs are perceived as the best link between business and education, forging effective partnerships and providing volunteer opportunities are considered as extremely helpful.

“Today, technology and innovation are changing not only the way people think about money and manage their personal finances but also the way that financial education needs to be delivered. This pace of change makes it all the more vital that young people are equipped with money management knowledge and skills. They need these skills for both work and for success in a digital world. We are proud to join together with JA Europe to support this important research. We hope this report improves the understanding of the gaps that exist today. It identifies a strong business demand for financial education across Europe,” concluded Nicolas Huss, Visa Europe, CEO

See full report HERE

See "The Case Studies" HERE

Financial Education Report Visa Ja Europe Who Financial Education Report Visa JA Europe What


About JA Europe
JA Europe is Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. In 2015 we equipped 3.5 million students in 39 countries with the knowledge, skills and attitude they require to start a business or get a job.
JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy. JA Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®.

About Visa Europe
Visa Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of Visa Inc. (NYSE:V). Visa Inc. is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products.

For more information please contact: philippe@jaeurope.org

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