So how can we help plug the gap?
According to stats from 2015, just released in late May, Aussie students are falling behind in financial literacy. PISA 2015 Results (Volume IV) – Students’ Financial Literacy says Australian students[i] are just sixth in the OECD area for financial literacy[ii]. Our youngsters are being beaten out by China, Belgium, Canada, Russia and the Netherlands. The average test score in Australia went down by about 4% between 2012 and 2015.
Scarily enough, 20% of students in Australia don’t even have basic proficiency in financial literacy[iii]. That means they may not be able to understand a bank statement, predict the consequences of a financial decision, or calculate a percentage[iv]. Only 15% of students are at a level where they can deal with the basics of things like income tax. Commenting on the lack of understanding amongst Aussie teens, one girl told the Sydney Morning Herald that “I don’t know much about banks. How do I work out taxes? I have no idea what they are, it’s just a word parents complain about.”[v]
Clearly, things are getting worse. And they weren’t that great to start with. But what can the average Jo – someone who’s not a teacher, policymaker or politician – really do about it?
There’s clearly a need for bare bones basics financial education.
Think about it; the kids who took this test will be 18 soon. They’ll need to be equipped with the knowledge and confidence to make financial decisions. If they’re not, they could make some pretty bad choices, such as taking out too much credit[vi], failing to invest or look at their super[vii], and falling for financial scams[viii].
Money101 has been delivering high-impact digital financial education to young people for years. We know what works and what doesn’t. And we’re always making changes to keep up with young peoples’ demand for attractive and functional digital offerings in the financial services space. In fact, right now we’re working on mobile-first education that’ll change the way young people experience self-directed financial education.
Our units represent a fun, flexible and cost-effective financial education solution for employers, super funds, financial institutions and more. Check out the full range, including our Millennials titles, today.
[i] 14,530 15 year old students from all over the country were surveyed
[iv] See scale on page 302, https://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/PISA%202012%20Technical%20Report_Chapter%2015.pdf
[vii] For more facts and statistics, see http://www.superguru.com.au/grow-your-super/youngpeople