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Young jobless 'in need of better budgeting lessons'

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: December 13, 2012

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THE level of youth unemployment in Exeter is a "stark reminder" of the importance of teaching financial education in schools, a national charity is warning.

A total of 2,125 young people aged 16 to 24 in the Exeter area claimed Jobseeker's Allowance in October, according to official figures from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The education charity PFEG (Personal Finance Education Group), which offers free resources and support to schools in Exeter and across the country, is campaigning for financial education to be included in the national curriculum and taught in every school in the UK.

It argues that financial education lessons can help equip young people to manage their personal finances as they search for work, and help prevent Exeter's young unemployed people falling into problem debt.

Tracey Bleakley, Personal Finance Education Group chief executive, said: "School-leavers are entering adult life in extremely difficult economic times.

"Too many young people in Exeter are still struggling to find work – and the truth is that in many cases we are making their problems worse by allowing them to leave school without the skills they need to manage their money well.

"Budgeting what money you have, understanding how benefits work and avoiding falling into unmanageable debt are just some of the financial skills that are absolutely essential when searching for your first job. This is especially important with the forthcoming changes to the benefit system and introduction of Universal Credit.

"Financial education makes a real difference to young people's lives. We need to give every young person the skills they need to survive and thrive in our economy."

More information on the free resources and support available to teachers and schools can be found at www.pfeg.org

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