Bank of Queensland Managing Director David Liddy has made a plea to teachers and parents, saying there has never been a greater need for financial literacy education for young people.
Speaking during National Literacy and Numeracy Week, Mr Liddy said: “Teenagers have never had more opportunities to get themselves into financial difficulty than they do today.
“There have never been more credit options, more financial providers, more products and services for our teenagers to spend their money on than there are today.
“The combination of a mass of products and services that are becoming the norm for our kids – such as mp3 players, mobile phones, ring tone downloads, sms voting, designer clothes and sneakers - with more and more opportunities for credit, means that our teenagers are in greater risk of getting themselves into debt than ever before.
“As a result, the need for education around financial literacy has become urgent, and I believe that it is the responsibility not only of parents, but also of schools and financial providers to help educate our kids.
“As a leading Australian financial institution, Bank of Queensland believes it has a responsibility to help educate young people in money management to enable them to be financially literate and live fulfilled lives.
“For this reason, we sponsor Operation Financial Literacy – a FREE teaching resource that helps educators teach financial literacy and money management skills.
Developed by not-for-profit organisation, Financial Basics Foundation, Operation Financial Literacy is supported by corporate partners Bank of Queensland, Collection House and CPA Australia, and has been adopted by more than 850 secondary schools Australia-wide.
“Operation Financial Literacy will help set teenagers up for life by providing them with an understanding of things like credit management and budgeting to help them become financially successful.”
The free teaching resource, which was written by Australian teachers for Australian teachers, is completely flexible and adaptable allowing teachers to choose parts of the course that best suit their individual demographic, location, size and focus.
The program can be incorporated into a number of existing study areas including maths, SOSE, economics, business studies and English. It includes student worksheets and detailed teacher notes.
A mobile phone module was launched earlier this year to protect vulnerable Australians, particularly young people, from getting into financial difficulties with mobile phone and internet services. The new module has been a huge success with registered schools, with many teachers saying it has already helped hundreds of kids more effectively manage their mobile phone bills.