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Educators must prepare young people for economic challenges ahead

From left: Ugne Girciute, education officer, Secondary Students Union of Northern Ireland; Carol Fitzsimons, chief executive, Young Enterprise Northern Ireland; Michelle McIlveen MLA, Education Minister; Sarah Porretta, director, Money and Pensions Service; Janine Maher, Northern Ireland manager, Money and Pensions Service.

The Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted young people and the cost-of-living crisis threatens to have a similar impact if they are not given a strong financial education at school.

This was the call from Young Enterprise chief executive, Carol Fitzsimons at a financial education event held at Stormont on Wednesday 28th September.

“Young people have shown great resilience following the upheaval of their education through the pandemic, but many of them will face even greater challenges as they step into adulthood without a strong financial education.

“Now, more than ever, we need to see young people develop financial wellbeing in the face of the greatest financial crisis of their lifetime.  With support from key stakeholders, including Department of Education & Money and Pensions Service, we are aiming to focus the minds of our education sector to equip young people with the tools they need for an uncertain financial future.”

The event saw the charity present its financial education resources to educators and students across Primary, Post-Primary and Special Education Needs sectors, which with support from the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) and Money Saving Expert have been made available at no cost to all schools in Northern Ireland.

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen said: 

“As one of my Department’s key delivery partners, I thank Young Enterprise Northern Ireland for the significant role they play developing the skills and qualities that our young people need to enhance their enterprise and entrepreneurial skills, particularly in these challenging times.

“Northern Ireland was the first region in the UK to include financial education in the curriculum and the timely launch of these learning resources are a welcome addition to the current offering on the topic.”

Sarah Porretta, director of Money and Pensions Service commented:

“Financial habits start to be formed before the age of seven – and learning about money in childhood and the teenage years helps to build strong financial foundations for the future. That is why the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, coordinated by MaPS, set a national goal of 60,000 more children and young people in Northern Ireland – and two million more across the UK – receiving a meaningful financial education by 2030. 

“If this is to be achieved, collective action is required from all those involved in the education and care of children and young people. We look forward to continued collaboration with partners across government, business, education and the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland, as we work to deliver on this vital ambition.”

Access to the full suite of free Young Enterprise financial education resources is available at

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