Supporting financial literacy
We have a number of initiatives designed to help vulnerable people to build their financial skills, knowledge and confidence.
In the UK we’re investing over £15m in the Barclays Money Skills programme, an industry-leading initiative which has benefited 725,940 people already, and is on track to reach our goal of supporting one million people by the end of 2012.
The programme is delivered through partnerships with leading UK charities including Action for Children, the National Skills Academy for Financial Services and the National Youth Agency. Barclays colleagues also support the programme, and more than 11,400 have volunteered to deliver sessions in their local communities since the programme began.
One young person who has benefited from the programme is Sophie Probert, 18, from Derby. Sophie faced serious problems after running up phone bills of £400. Sophie uses her mobile phone to communicate with her deaf parents by text and was in danger of being cut off.
Like many young people, Sophie lacked confidence managing her money, and when she got into debt she wasn’t sure where to turn. Barclays Money Skills provides information about a range of topics, such as spending and saving, managing debt and what to do if something goes wrong. With help from Barclays Money Skills, Sophie was able to resolve her situation and manage her money more effectively. She’s now living in her own home and paying her own bills.
By helping young people to get the skills they need to set up their own businesses, we give them an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.
Barclays partnership with Youth Business International (YBI) helps young people start their own business and create employment. YBI works with 18-35 year olds to provide access to capital, training, mentoring and other business development services. Our support will enable YBI to provide services that will benefit 50,000 under-served young entrepreneurs in 34 countries. In 2011 our support helped YBI entrepreneurs start over 7,000 new businesses around the world.
Last year over 43,000 people received employability skills training through one of our programmes.
In 2011, as part of You can B, our partnership with Junior Achievement Worldwide, 60 students from local schools around Kampala, Uganda, spent a day with Barclays employees. The volunteers included auditors, branch managers and relationship managers, who helped the students build their employability skills.
During the day, Barclays employees mentored students with work readiness, entrepreneurial and financial literacy skills. As a result, they will be able to translate what they learn at school and during the programme to the business world. Many of them already have their own enterprise producing and selling goods in their local communities.
Helping students to make positive career choices
We work to enable young people to improve their prospects and play a full role in society.
The Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organisation providing quality education to children living in rural and urban slums of Pakistan. In 2011, current and alumni students who showed an interest in pursuing a career in banking or finance were invited to Barclays where volunteers from different teams engaged them in day-long learning sessions and activities.
Students learned about the importance of developing their employability skills to succeed in the business world, such as self-confidence, interview skills and having a positive attitude. Students also had the opportunity to improve their money management skills before having a tour of a Barclays branch.
Supporting financial awareness
Financial skills help people manage their money more effectively and gain the confidence to plan for the future
Owing to the complexity of US tax law, the majority of Americans hire an expert to complete a tax return on their behalf. For low-income individuals this isn’t always possible as the cost is too high.
Working with the Nehemiah Gateway organisation in Delaware, a team of Barclaycard volunteers has been serving as financial coordinators and tax consultants for the past couple of years. They had to complete an eight-hour training course and then pass the Internal Revenue Service exam to serve as volunteer tax consultants.
By filing tax returns correctly and on time, the team ensured penalties were avoided and appropriate tax credits were received. The process also introduced people to a range of financial resources, enabling individuals to become more self-sufficient and financially responsible in the longer term.
In 2011 it is estimated that the team have supported more than 100 people and they aim to double this number in 2012.
Barclays employees make significant contributions to their local communities by volunteering, fundraising and giving money.
Make a Difference Day is an annual volunteering campaign that encourages people to give their time and skills for the benefit of their local communities. In 2011, 20,620 Barclays employees from 32 countries took part.
For example, 50 colleagues from Retail and Business Banking in Europe delivered employability workshops at the University of East London. Using their own Business, Finance, Law and IT skills to talk to students studying similar degree subjects, colleagues helped 90 students to construct a good CV and give them ideas about presentation. Students were also taken through interview skills and techniques in a series of mock interviews with colleagues to help sharpen their performance.