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College Students ‘Champion’ Barclays Money Skills Week

14th April 2014

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Photograph of College Students ‘Champion’ Barclays Money Skills Week

Students at North Highland College UHI enjoyed a series of activities to learn how to better manage their money during Barclays Money Skills Week.

The interactive events covered themes such as budgeting, saving and spending, and were designed to be entertaining and informative. Activities were based on topics that interest students, such as food, shopping and independent living. The initiative gives students the opportunity to build crucial skills for the future and gain knowledge of personal financial issues and controlling their budget.

During the week students were asked to come up with the best money-saving tip. At the end of the week, Learning for Life students displayed all the responses on a board at Reception. A ‘Taste Test’, involved students from the Personal Empowerment Programme trying to work out the difference in taste between home-made cottage pies and ready meal cottage pies. Many students and staff realised that home-cooked meals can be better value for money and keep you fuller for longer.

Similarly, the Life and Work Skills group made a surprising discovery during their smoothie ‘Taste Test’. The students shopped locally for ingredients, checking the prices of fresh fruit for home-made smoothies, in comparison to shop bought, ready-made smoothies. At first glance students perceived the ready-made smoothies to be good value for money. However, having bought £4.50 worth of ingredients it was found that the home-made smoothie ingredients went 3 and a half times further than the shop bought and tasted much better too.

Barclay’s Money Skills ‘champions’ is an innovative peer education project designed to build the money management skills of young people aged 16-25. Jim Kelly, the North Highland College UHI’s career coach, has been organising the initiative for a number of years. Commenting on this year’s activities, Jim says “The college champions have played a key role in the success of the programme and it has been fantastic to have so many students from various departments on board.”

Ten ‘champions’ from the Personal Empowerment Programme hosted their very own ‘Deal or No Deal’. Contestants were given two options of supermarket deals and had to choose what they perceived to be the best deal. Prizes included sweets pens pencils headphones calculators. Their swapping event was a hit with their ‘punters’ which gave staff and students the opportunity to bring in their unwanted things and swap for other “new” items.

The eight HNC Computing ‘champions’ undertook a ‘Built for business’ task where they worked in teams to come up with an idea for a new business. In fitting with their studies, the students were provided with raspberry pi’s as a basis to come up with a marketable product that could be sold. The students used the opportunity to raise money for other computing components, through a series of fundraising activities such as a car wash, a staff and student quiz, raffle and ‘mocktails’. The students have raised just over £100 for their enterprising activity. Course tutor Fiona MacIntosh believes “It has taught them the value of developing financial skills - in terms of costing, raising funds and the importance of identifying where to purchase products.”

Barclays Money Skills ‘weeks’ is a programme that has been designed to help FE college students develop the skills they need to manage their money more effectively and secure future employment, through a series of fun and interactive activities at their college.


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