Financial education could help steer Bermuda to good careers – The Royal Gazette

Key Knowledge: A Few Tips On Financial Planning For Life At A Young Age Could Bring Big Benefits to Our Society

In the latest post in our Focus on Financial Literacy for Life Success 2022, a regular monthly post, we take a look at comments from a recent column in The Royal Gazette.

One of the last comments on the article, written by Christopher Famous, was: “Flowery words will not change the fact that we have fewer and fewer Bermudians able to work as skilled laborers.

“The harsh reality is that whatever training opportunities are available in our high schools and Bermuda College, unless our young people are constantly encouraged to take these courses and supported along the way, we will have classrooms almost. empty. “

These two sentences shed light on the author’s grave concern and frustration.

Unsaid either, are anecdotal undercurrents that some of the best, most determined, future-focused, brightest are leaving, have gone or will not return to improve Bermuda’s workforce.

First, we must certainly recognize and applaud the huge, positive supportive efforts that are already in place by many local and international organizations to help, upgrade, engage young people and adults to upgrade the skills of their workforce. work to improve their careers and financial security.

The list below is just a few of the many organizations and individuals who offer help, tutoring, courses, internships, scholarships, support and other incentives for learning –

• Bermuda Insurance Institute, now with an absorption envisaged in Bermuda College course offerings

• Bermuda CPA Association

• Accounting and auditing firms

• Local and international law firms

• Banks and financial services companies

• The international business community and their associations, including Abir, Biltir and Abic

• Bermuda Society of Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA).

• Bermuda Reading Clinic

• The Bermuda Sloop Foundation

• Pocketchangebda

• Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, led by Erica Smith, Executive Director, promoting, assisting and developing local entrepreneurs and start-ups

• Government of Bermuda Department of Workforce Development Minister Jason Hayward – Career Development Program and others.

All of these efforts are so well intentioned that proof of many fantastic results is regularly advertised in numerous local media articles about successful applicants in various career fields.

So why aren’t we reaching more young people? What groups do not hear, see and realize the life-changing potential of these enhanced vocational skills support programs?

I suggest that the positive message of developing financial literacy – it really is financial life planning – the exposure and learned ability to use financial literacy should start at an early age – and with the correlation of support adults.

Bermuda is not alone in facing these concerns; financial literacy for success in life is a recognized global issue.

Let’s review the research data verifying the global message in the latest 2018 OECD-PISA Global Results (testing only done every three years – 2021 delayed due to Covid), the United States, the UK and Canada, which we are most like, are included!

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organization, which today has 38 member countries, and was founded in 1961 (replacing the Marshall Plan) to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

Their mantra “better policies for a better life”, endorses the founding principle of the previous organization which declared that “their economic systems are interdependent and that the prosperity of each of them depends on the prosperity of all”.

How’s life? their Better Life Index allows you to compare well-being between countries, based on 11 themes that the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.

The Program for International Student Assessment PISA is an international study launched by the OECD in 1997 and which today covers more than 80 countries. Every three years, the PISA survey provides comparative data on how 15-year-olds are performing in reading, math and science and what they can do with what they know.

It provides the most comprehensive and rigorous international assessment of student learning outcomes to date, where results indicate the quality and equity of learning outcomes achieved globally, and empower educators and teachers alike. decision-makers to learn from policies and practices applied in other countries.

Performance test scores indicate startling evidence. The countries most advanced in the Western World’s 15-year-old scores were not at the top of the list, but various countries in the Far East, such as Singapore, consistently do. Singapore has had a government mandate for free higher education programs for all since the 1960s.

Even more important are financial literacy test scores.

For the third time, PISA assessed the ability of 15-year-olds to deal with real-life situations involving financial issues and decisions, with results indicating that many have difficulty with financial literacy.

Some 117,000 15-year-olds took part in the test, which assessed teens’ knowledge and skills about money and personal finance – such as handling bank accounts and debit cards, understanding bank interest rates. a loan, choose from various cell phone plans, and more financial problem solving, not just taking quizzes.

PISA also examines various aspects of student life related to money, describing their attitudes and behaviors related to money and their digital financial activities.

Only one in ten students achieve the highest level of financial literacy, on average across OECD countries and economies; this 10 percent group of students are able to make financial decisions in contexts that will not become relevant to them until later in life.

The message is clear and it is being heard.

We all need to do more.

In the United States, the state of Ohio, with more than 600 school districts, is now the tenth state in the United States to require compulsory financial literacy courses.

Canada has gained momentum. Financial literacy programs and training.

The UK FT survey recognized the dramatic problem of lack of financial literacy. In September 2021, the Financial Times Literacy and Financial Inclusion Campaign (FT FLIC) unveiled its strategic plan to strengthen financial literacy among youth, women and disadvantaged communities.

Readers, many more to come! Bermuda needs a national mandate for financial literacy.

It’s my mantra this year, next year and beyond. Financial literacy (life planning) for all. Webinars, podcasts, digital and print books, interviews, success stories and more.

Anyone wishing to help me with this FINLIT-BERMUDA ™ project, please contact me at [email protected]