Wales Co-operative Centre Financial Inclusion experts give evidence to Children, Young People and Education Committee
Jocelle Lovell is Financial Inclusion Project Manager at the Wales Co-operative Centre. She talks about her evidence to the committee and the importance of debating financial inclusion and financial education in Wales.
The Wales Co-operative Centre has a long history in delivering programmes to help tackle poverty and inequalities across Wales, including digital and financial inclusion and co–operative housing. We were delighted to be invited to the Senedd on 17 September 2014 to answer questions regarding the Financial Education and Inclusion Bill at the Children, Young People and Education Committee.
We welcome any opportunity to have high level debate on financial inclusion and education across Wales, and to highlight some of the best practice already taking place across our different local authorities.
The debate included discussions on the effectiveness of current frameworks for both education and local authorities, and whether more is needed to be done by creating legislative powers. We cited examples of best practice which our Financial Inclusion Champions project has supported. These included supporting Blaenau Gwent’s single integrated plan and its approach to co-ordinating financial inclusion across the borough, and Conwy and Denbighshire’s approach to collaborative working and project funding that led to the Financial Inclusion Together project.
Questions were asked about what age children should start to be taught financial education, referring to the Money Advice Service report (click here to view report). We suggested that children should be taught about money from as early an age as possible given that there is evidence that attitudes and behaviour towards money are developed by the age of 7. We feel that there is a great opportunity to use existing programmes to deliver a holistic approach to financial inclusion: these should include Families First, Sure Start and Communities First, all of which have elements of family & community engagement.
Another point we were keen to make is that there are three key elements to financial inclusion, (literacy, accessibility & capability) and whilst financial literacy is a fundamental skill, it can not be delivered in isolation. We also need measures in place to address accessibility and capability if we are to truly make a difference.
To view Jo giving evidence to the committee please click here and view session three.