VET students and financial capability

Ben LawBen Law is a Financial Education Officer for the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). His main role is developing online professional development for teachers to assist in effectively teaching young people about money. In this blog post Ben tells us about an online resource for students, teachers, trainers and community educators, to assist in developing and teaching critical money skills.

Financial challenges for students

For students personally and those considering self-employment or starting a small business after finishing school, understanding money and finance is vital. The financial decisions young people need to navigate are becoming increasingly complex and the money choices they make now can have a real and lasting impact on their futures. ASIC have therefore developed an online resource for students and a complementary professional development module for teachers, trainers and community educators, to assist in developing and teaching of these critical money skills.

What does the research say?

Research undertaken by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) in 2012 informed the development of the Be MoneySmart Certificate III unit of competency FNSFLT 301, which aims to build financial capability in students completing a trade qualification.

The field research included:

  • an online survey with over 1300 apprentices, trainees and field workers, and
  • phone interviews with key stakeholders including Industry Associations, Group Training Organisations, Business Enterprise Centres and Industry Skills Councils.

The research found that most apprentices and trainees want simple, clear and engaging online learning delivered in sessions of less than one hour. Access to a mentor was a consistent message that came out of the study as well as the need for the information to be kept current and relevant.

ASIC’s Be MoneySmart online training resource

Following on from the research, ASIC worked with a steering group with representatives from the Australian Taxation Office, Group Training Australia and Innovation and Business Skills Australia to develop ‘ASIC’s Be MoneySmart, an online training resource to help VET students (including apprentices and trainees) develop money management skills.

ASIC’s Be MoneySmart offers five video-based online modules:

  • Saving, budgeting and spending – Students establish savings goals, create a budget and a savings plan.
  • Personal tax – Students establish a system for storing receipts and work through tax topics so they can prepare a return.
  • Superannuation – Students compare super funds, work through a super statement and learn how to keep track of their super.
  • Debt management – Students compare debt products, learn to manage credit cards and find out what to do if debt becomes a problem.
  • Insurance – Students investigate car, home and content insurance and learn how to choose the right type of insurance and level of cover.

Each module features real life examples and video case studies of young people from a range of occupations, and a mentor who provides information and money management tips on key aspects of each topic. The modules support one hour of online activity and two hours of offline study. Each module includes a student workbook and there is also a trainer/assessor guide for the entire resource. The resource can be delivered as an accredited elective unit of competency or as individual modules as part of non-accredited courses or training.

Delivering ASIC’s Be MoneySmart

ASIC has developed an online professional development module to assist teachers, trainers and community educators in using ASIC’s Be MoneySmart resource with learners. It is designed to help trainers gain a detailed knowledge and understanding of ASIC’s Be MoneySmart resource, consider strategies to deliver the resource in both accredited and non-accredited settings, and understand how the program aligns to the unit of competency FNSFLT301 Be MoneySmart, which is part of Financial Services training package.

Want more information?

For more information, contact us at moneysmartteaching@asic.gov.au, and have a read of our previous blog post.