HomeBlogTeenage Take over #14

Teenage Take over #14

Teenage take over 14 - finding the positives in a sea of negatives

So here we are, well over half way through 6 weeks of hell… I mean a solid test of the last 12 years of my education. I now officially have more school shirts than days of exams! Four days with six more exams to sit before it’s ten full weeks of freedom! You’ll forgive me for missing last month’s post – I hope, but to make up for it this is a bit of a bumper edition. (Anything is better than my geography revision! Shhhh don’t tell!)

And this time it’s just me writing. Jess is prepping for her mocks, so I’m taking the hit for the team.

Finding inspiration for positivity

In the last edition we reflected on our one year of writing about pension stuff. You can read that version here. And we got a bit of a negative vibe going, so we asked you all for some inspiration, to write something positive. What a response we got. Not just from the people that commented on the LinkedIn post, but also those who took the time to reach out and send a message privately. All a bit overwhelming really… we weren’t really sure if anyone would ever read our ramblings. So thank you to every single person who made that effort, we were definitely speechless.

Comments usually come through Mum, but now the man, the myth, the legend himself has arrived on LinkedIn – connect with me here!

There were a ton of ideas for a positive focus. Some I had an idea about and some I didn’t. One I feel quite happy to focus on for positivity is combining the comment about teenagers with our recurring theme of education…

If you missed it (or can’t remember, it was a while ago), it was from Colin Haines: 

“In my recent experience with my own (fairly recent) teenagers, today’s job offer letters (including for holiday work) might come with pensions booklets that are longer and more complex than the offer letter – and with decision to make on retirement ages, contributions and investments (or whether to accept the default)

So helping teenagers navigate the pension documents that might come with their holiday job or first full-time job could be received very positively.”

Ideas for financial education

I’m going to take this blog on a slightly different path. Instead of providing commentary on what’s already happening (there’s probably way more going on than I could possibly know about)… I’m going to give you my grand plan to get teenagers educated about pensions.

So, I think every student should spend their first week in year 12 doing ‘getting job ready’ training. Now I tossed up the idea of doing a year 11 and year 13 week – post exams. But now I’m almost at the point of freedom there’s nothing I’d hate more than going back to school! 

Anyway, back to the ‘getting job ready’ training – here’s my ideas for a syllabus: 

> How to write a CV

> A look at office / workplace culture 

> Prepping for interviews 

> Recording experience for your next CV 

> And of course the legalities of job offers and pension contributions.

Make it real

You could even make these courses tailored to what someone is studying. So, say you’ve done vocational a level courses e.g. construction that workplace training could be on an actual construction site. With a focus on what skills are needed for that industry. If you’re doing more academic a levels then the week long course could be office based, so it’s as useful as possible.

Also this would be a nice break back into education after the long summer (ten weeks of freedom isn’t long enough!).

Timing is crucial

In year 12 most people are likely to be going into the workplace in some form of part time work, so it’s a great time to focus the mind. The curriculum before this is already jammed, in our school we have citizenship lessons. But if you take triple science these are sacrificed in year 11 in favour of the additional science lesson. I don’t know if every school works the same, but there’s already a lot to cover in your GCSEs. So, in terms of the optimum time to deliver this, I reckon the beginning of year 12 or even at the beginning of y10 (though that’s a bit young) is best.

An alternative to national service?

Alternatively, instead of the national service idea at 18, there could be a two week (equivalent to the one weekend per month) programme that is run like a camp, but focuses on ‘getting job ready’. Could be held either in existing big company locations, so people can even get used to commuting (with two days remote working, obviously).  

Making sure we know what enough is!

AE is a start, but everything I’ve read shows that the minimum isn’t enough and people don’t realise that. When I spoke to mum about this she said the success was down to inertia. In physics (5 days until that exam by the way) is the likelyhood of an object to stay at rest or in uniform motion. Assuming she means the inertia of people to not change their pension savings, why were the amounts set at not enough for a good retirement? That is a bit bonkers. Anyway, half your age as savings is the Martin Lewis formula and the younger the better… it’s good, but it’s not ingrained like your 5-a-day message. 

Getting back into the rhythm

Once the exams are over it should be back to service as usual. Remember you can connect with me and message me directly. See you next month!

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