In an effort to support 500,000 customers with their financial literacy, communication, critical thinking, and digital innovation by 2023, AIB has launched a skills programme for 12-18-year-olds called Future Sparks.
Over 70% of Irish secondary schools have already signed up for AIB’s new programme that will drive themes such as sustainability, financial wellness, health and wellbeing, globalisation, and civic literacy.
AIB research ahead of the Future Sparks programme launch revealed that 87% of 12-18-year-olds believe that financial advice from banks will prove to be crucial for future careers. 79% would also like to learn more about how to manage money, while only 42% believe that their day-to-day management of their finances is good.
The research also revealed that 96% think achieving a healthy work/life balance will be of great importance in their career. 56% said it is likely that they will have to re-train and change career, despite not having commenced it and a high salary is perceived as the most attractive future job benefit, with 52% believing so.
Students and teachers will be given access to over 50 educational videos from more than 45 different business and thought leaders and entrepreneurs. In addition to this, programme participants will be provided with 190 educational resources including case studies, worksheets, lesson plans and exam questions, tailored to various age groups.
On completion of the programme, every group will receive a tree and a plaque for their school and each student will receive individual digital certificates to reward their support of biodiversity.
Financial literacy is part of the bank’s wider sustainability strategy which focuses on climate action, economic and social inclusion, and future proofing our business. Recently the bank 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.
AIB’s director of corporate affairs, strategy and sustainability, Mary Whitelaw, says: “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.”