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Students learn finance through investment competition

City players are continuing their efforts to make financial education more accessible to students.

Starting today over 100 sixth form students will compete with peers from other regions, to make the biggest gains over a seven-month period in Share Centre’s investment competition Shares4Schools.

The project aims to give “young people the opportunity to invest real money in the stock market in order to introduce them to the world of finance and explore the mechanisms of the stock market.”

A Share Centre survey found 78 per cent of personal investors had no exposure to financial education as part of their school education. Two third of the surveyed investors believed they would have made more informed money-related decisions had they received financial education in school.

Samuel Burns, who participated in the Shares4Schools competition in 2012, says: “Participating in the Shares4Schools scheme gave me my first push into my eventual career in finance, and as experiences go S4S felt more like a hobby.

“I’ve gone on to work for Deloitte, one of the world’s leading financial services providers, and assisted world renowned FTSE100 brands from a financial perspective, and currently on track to be an ACA qualified accountant prior to my 24th birthday.

“The scheme provided me with a first insight into the financial markets which sparked the interest that would ultimately become my future. I would highly recommend the scheme to everyone- it can provide the platform for future success!”

Financial education creates five-fold return on investment, study finds

Apart from educating private investors, there have been efforts to train people looking for a career in investment management industry.

Investment Association’s initiative Investment20/20 is boosting its presence at university careers fairs, to more than 20 universities nationwide to attract talent from diverse backgrounds to the industry.

Investment20/20 has previously focused on school-leavers but a pilot scheme targeted universities with students from more deprived households and a higher percentage of BAME (black and minority ethnic) students.

As part of the expansion, Investment20/20 has selected 21 universities, mostly former polytechnics, across England, including Coventry University, University of Northampton and London Metropolitan University, to look for talent for asset management.

Many of the universities targeted are at the top of the 2019 Sunday Times Good University Guide’s social inclusion rankings, and London Metropolitan University is second, with 96.5 per cent state school students and 37.6 per cent black students.

Investment20/20 says these are part of efforts to make the asset management industry more accessible and representative of the savers and investors it serves.

IA’s chief executive Chris Cummings says: “I want asset management to be a career option open to everyone. As someone who grew up in a working class family in Yorkshire and was the first in my family to go to university, I know that barriers exist to a career in the City. That’s why I’m delighted that Investment20/20 continues to grow from strength to strength, building bridges to reach those furthest away from the industry.”

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