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SECONDARY school pupils were given a life lesson in finances when members of the team from a leading accountancy firm dropped in.

JF Hornby & Co have agreed to be a delivery partner for the Furness Education and Skills Partnership’s Build My Skills initiative.

They started a tour of schools in Furness and south Copeland with an assembly at Walney School, where accounts assistant Esther Klijn and accounts manager Paula Boyd spoke to around 100 Year 10 pupils.

Esther said: “It was great to be able to speak to the young people at Walney School and give them an insight into how they will need to be in control of their personal finances as they leave school and start their journey into adulthood.

“There is so much to be aware of when it comes to savings, salaries, bills and being responsible with money and as a leading accountancy firm in the area, we think it’s our responsibility to play a part in equipping young people with the knowledge they need.”

Earlier this year, new data highlighted that many young people are struggling to manage their finances.

The number seeking help with servicing debt (including current accounts) increased by 205%, rising from 951 in 2016/17 to 2,899 in 2020/21.

And figures show that in the last five years alone, the number of help requests received by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) from 16-24 year-olds has more than trebled.

Managing Director of JF Hornby & Co, Paul Hornby, said: “Financial education is so important. The sessions we are delivering will not solve the very real problems linked to young people and finances. But they will start the conversation and encourage them to think about money management.

“We believe that the key to young adults having a positive relationship with their finances is offering them insight and support before they enter the world or further education, apprenticeships or employment.

“This is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long and productive partnership with FESP and the Build My Skills initiative.”

The Build My Skills programme involves upwards of 20 schools. Sessions covering a variety of areas designed to equip and inspire young people are held over the course of the school year.

Other businesses involved include BAE Systems, 32West, Oxley Developments, the NHS, GSK, Cumbria Community Police, Barrow Raiders and Barrow AFC.