Peer youth workers received better than established trainers in delivering financial capability to young adults.
The need for Money Advice is great as young adults today are experiencing a very different set of personal, economic and financial circumstances from those of previous generations due to changes in the housing market, consumer trends, the advent and reach of online marketplaces, more stringent pensions and employment patterns, and numerous savings and investment vehicles. These have all combined to make the decisions individuals face more complex. Yet despite this, there is an increasing need for individuals to take more responsibility for their own financial future.
It is not that financial help is not available, but as the latest UK Financial Capability Strategy states, ‘whilst there is existing support available [in financial capability], getting engagement from young adults can be difficult’.
The Money Advice Service (MAS) funded My Money Now (MMN) programme, delivered by the National Youth Agency to 591 young adults, was initiated to help young people, aged 16-21 years, to improve their knowledge about financial matters and to help them make good decisions about finances in the future; as featured in the Natwest Financial Capability and Young Workers Report.
The project found that the use of youth worker peer educators increases engagement in young adults as participants feel more confident and aware of their financial capability, and also felt they learned more, after being led by a peer.
The evaluation suggests that the programme was especially well received by those aged 20+ and on apprenticeships; i.e. those already, or most likely to be, faced with tackling issues around pay, surplus income, and pensions. This finding could prove key given the government’s commitment to create 3m more apprenticeships in the immediate future through the Apprentice Levy.
As a whole, the programme was also successful in improving participants’ financial capability skills, regardless of participant group or delivery method:
85% of participants felt their financial capability skill improved in all areas.
90% of participants felt they had improved their skills across multiple areas.
90% of participants rated the programme ‘quite good’ or ‘really good’.
We acknowledge that there is still much to be done in refining our methods and in addressing financial capability needs in young people, and that this programme cannot measure the effects over a sustained period of time. However, we are confident that our delivery of the MMN programme provides a useful initial framework and guide for the use of peer educator youth workers.
To read the full report and case studies, Click here
 Money Advice Service Financial Capability Strategy, p.19.