Image AIB launches financial literacy and skills programme for secondary students
Image Rob Flynn
Staff Writer

When it comes to investing in the future, there’s no better investment than in our children. That’s the thinking at least behind AIB’s latest programme, ‘Future Sparks’, which seeks to imbue 12-18 year olds with enhanced financial literacy and life skills.

Reminiscing about our school days as adults usually brings back find memories, but there’s always that one subject that, for whatever reason, eluded us...and for many people that’s Maths! Some of you are even shuddering just reading the words.

But, as I’m sure you all found out sooner or later, maths is pretty important, especially when it comes to your personal finances. (Using a calculator isn’t cheating, we promise!)

Thankfully, however, the children of today will have a little more help in that department (and then some!) all thanks to AIB.

Oh yeah? Tell me more!

Well, Ireland’s leading bank has announced a brand new financial literacy and skills programme for secondary school students called ‘Future Sparks’.

Sounds so good you wish you were back in school again, right? Here’s what’s involved in the programme for those who’d like to let their kids know more.

Future Sparks shine bright

The new financial literacy and skills programme for secondary school students is aimed at supporting 12-18 year olds in the development and learning of key life skills.

Chief among those skills of course will be financial wellness, health and well-being, sustainability, as well as civic literacy. Also supported will be the development of core skills including communications, critical thinking and digital innovation, to name a few!

The programme itself will be conducted through secondary schools whereby students and teachers will have access to over 50 educational videos.

The videos will cover the topics discussed above, and more, delivered from more than 45 different businesses, thought leaders and entrepreneurs.

Students will also have access to 190 educational resources too, including: 

  • Case studies
  • Worksheets
  • Lesson plans
  • Exam questions (tailored to various age groups throughout 2nd level)

As it stands over 70% of all secondary schools in Ireland have already signed up which makes it the biggest programme of its kind in the country.

Last March AIB announced its plans to support 500,000 customers through financial literacy programmes by 2023 and Future Sparks is its latest brainchild on that pathway.

The bank’s overall target meanwhile is part of its wider sustainability strategy which focuses on tackling the not-so-small topics such as climate action, economic and social inclusion, and future-proofing the banking business.

Work & reward

What’s more, each secondary school group that completes the programme from AIB will receive a tree and a plaque for their school.

Students will also be rewarded with individual digital certificates to recognise their hard work while supporting biodiversity.

Recently AIB announced that it would plant 90,000 native Irish trees over the next three years on behalf of new AIB second-level student account holders.

Speaking about the launch of Future Sparks, AIB’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Strategy and Sustainability, Mary Whitelaw, said: 

In AIB, we want to play our part in building a society that is socially and economically inclusive. We are doing this through investing and raising awareness in access, education and innovation for our customers, colleagues and our communities.

As part of a socially and economically inclusive society it’s important to recognise the vital role that access to finance plays in everyday life. As a result, I’m delighted to announce AIB’s new financial literacy programme for schools. Future Sparks helps to ensure we are equipping our young people with real life skills that will benefit them greatly. We want to support students to acquire knowledge and skills to help them manage their financial future. This programme helps to ensure we are meeting the needs of the next generation, today.

Research

In advance of the launch of the new Future Sparks programme, AIB conducted some research to gain a better understanding of the experiences and attitudes of 12 to 18 year olds in Ireland.

Interestingly, 87% of those kids surveyed think banking advice and its related services will be important or very important in their future careers.

Appetite for learning is strong too, with 79% expressing an interest to learn more about managing their money, while 42% say their day-to-day management of money is good - there’s hope for the future yet.

The research also revealed the significance young people place on achieving a healthy work/life balance with 96% saying it will be of great importance in their future career.

The kids will be alright!

Back to school season

The transition back to school is well underway at this point and you’ve likely felt a dent in your pocket because of it. 

However, if you’re still making last-minute preparations or are looking to make a plan for next year, make sure you check out our recent blog post where we outline 9 back-to-school money-saving tips for parents.

There are also a variety of ways you can save money and offset the costs of returning to school right here on bonkers.ie. 

One of the easiest ways to save money is by switching your energy supplier, and with energy prices on the rise, there’s never been a better time to do so! 

It’s quick and easy to switch and can all be done on bonkers.ie in the space of a few minutes. Use our energy comparison tool to compare the best deals today across all 14 energy suppliers nationwide.

Don’t forget to try out our other comparison tools for broadband, phone and TV, insurance products, and banking and mortgage products and see how much you could save today!

Get in touch

What do you think of AIB’s ‘Future Sparks’ programme? Do you think any of your children will benefit from it? 

Let us know in the comments below or get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.