Scheme launched to boost financial literacy in youths

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 March, 2009, 12:00am

Many young people think of the recession as a problem for grown-ups, but as the job pool shrinks, youths can no longer afford to be financially illiterate.

Official statistics show that 20 per cent of graduates aged 15-19 are unemployed. Those from low-income backgrounds are further disadvantaged as they must now compete for jobs with youths from better backgrounds.

To combat this, the government has partnered with the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) and Prudential Assurance Company (Prudential Hong Kong) to launch a scheme aimed at helping youths gain confidence and become finance savvy.

Under the 'Fly High with Us' scheme, 120 participants aged 10-16 from New Territories West district will participate in a savings and mentoring programme for two years.

Participants will receive one-on-one financial mentoring with a Prudential volunteer. Prudential will also match HK$200 every month to HK$200 students save under the programme. After successful completion of the programme, the government will give an additional HK$3,000 grant to each participant for a pre-set goal. By the end of the programme, each participant will have received a total of HK$12,600.

The scheme may be expanded to help 13,000 teenagers in three years.

'Young people are the future masters of society. We have responsibility to provide them with equal learning opportunities to widen their perspectives, and fulfil their personal dreams and plans,' said HKFYG executive director Rosanna Wong Yick-ming. 'The federation is deeply thankful to Prudential Hong Kong, for significantly committing its financial and manpower resources.'