As part of contributing to employability of students, Barclays Bank launched the Ready to Work program, comprising core skills needs to excel post-learning life. Money skills for instance are the financial knowledge to manage your finances effectively.
Other skills include people skills, entrepreneurial skills and work skills.
The Ready to Work money skills blue print reads that it equips learners with “financial skills you need to manage your own money, deal effectively with credit and debt and manage your financial future.”
For students, this is an essential skill, outside their school work that will positively impact their life. The school curriculum does not provide you with these skills, even for those who study finance and business administration related courses. But the life after school does not recognize that you lack these skills. From your salaries, to credit and debt, these are realities you meet when you graduate.
At a forum where former Nigerian International Jay Jay Okocha Okocha was addressing a section of over 90,000 university student who are taking different online courses under the Ready to Work programme, he was unequivocal on financial management.
‘Acquiring and utilization of financial management skills is the beginning of future financial freedom. Employ those skills in your daily lives-that is what has kept me going throughout my career and even in my retirement,’ he asserted.
The first pillar in money skills is budgeting. Students who take this course understand from the go that life will be different once they complete school. Before then, they have been used to being given money by their guardians, but as they enter the working world, the flow will no longer be the same. When it does, it comes with remarks of ‘effective’ utilization of them. In addition, one has to be specific on what they want to use the money for.
That notwithstanding, some students could have experienced budgeting when they receive loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). How they spend the money; paying fees, rent and bills has certainly introduced them to budgeting. In recent days with the advent of betting especially sports, many have squandered their money on the premise of quick rewards only to regret later.
The second pillar is credit. Loans are a reality in life and those who took HELB will need to start repaying it. When they fail, they will incur penalties, which become their first orientation on financial obligations.
In 2013 for instance, the Higher Education Loan Board (HELB) was forced to blacklist at least 68,000 students for defaulting on their loan repayments and forwarded their names to the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB).
These students will soon want to invest in land, bonds, real estate and cars among other things they take credit for. But many end up not following up their obligations, resulting in frustrations and sometimes repossession of the property.
When the students later consider starting families, they will better appreciate the learning they undertook. Financial management skills are essential both for budgeting but also credit management.
One incentive of the Ready to Work programme is that it is free of charge. All one needs it the discipline to create time to go through the module and interrogate the learning outcomes.
Wale Akinyemi, a motivational speaker emphasized that “if students know how to save or make a penny while in college, then they could make substantial savings.’’
For anyone willing to learn, take a leap in registering for the course to ensure that your ‘budget will enable you to achieve your goals’.
Register here and start learning.