This is for sure a huge success, and bodes well for London business, the local economy and London’s young people. More school and college leavers are on their way to a career with prospects, and this is sure to make a real and long lasting contribution not only to the individuals but to the UK workforce and economy.
But without understanding how to make money out of their skills, are we setting these youngsters up for failure?
More and more these days each and every individual in a business has to contribute to the bottom line as competition increases. The problem is, if a person has negative associations with money, and feels guilty about making money, then this is going to hamper the effectiveness of any scheme.
It used to be that we could get settled into a profession, or a job, that is far from the issue of money. You’d show up, perform a role, and somewhere along the line someone (a sales person) would turn that value that you create, into cash for the company.
It’s no wonder that as a nation we are divorced from being able to discuss finances. But as a result, most of us grow up not understanding money, and in many cases not feeling worthy to earn it, manage it and put it to work for us.
In working with individuals to help them make more money in their business it’s an issue which often crops up. When I speak at events about the emotions we have around money, there is always huge agreement that the reason people, on an individual level, struggle to make, and keep, money, is because they have feelings of guilt around having it, and fears about being rejected by their peers if they earn more than they currently do.
In my experience, these thoughts and feelings need to be addressed before the physical strategy in a business, and I propose that it will also likely be the case in skilling people up to do a job. It’s all very well having a skill, but unless you can create the conditions in order to monetize the skill then the subject is somewhat academic. Sure, these lucky apprentices are heading straight into jobs, but if they are to avoid the traumas we saw in the credit crunch and also be able to add to their company’s bottom line, then surely some well place courses in personal finance and entrepreneurship would also be in order.
Of course, the no brainer would be to introduce financial education into the school curriculum... But the apprenticeships would be a great place to start as in some ways these young people are now on the front line of a new economy being formed.
As well as pushing for companies to train apprentices, we also need to be looking to train these young people in key skills that will help the future of the economy: basic personal finance, and entrepreneurship to add to the bottom line of their company, and any future enterprise they may start on their own account.