Senior high school students who wish to develop their financial skills will be offered internships as part of a pathway program established by a NSW-based brokerage.
The founder and principal of Astute Ability Finance Group, Mhairi MacLeod, recipient of the Community Champion Award at the 2018 Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia’s Excellence Awards, has announced that she will be offering in-house internships to local students who wish to develop their financial skills.
The pathway program follows on from Ms MacLeod’s launch of the broker-led School Entrepreneurs Program, offered to members of the MFAA, which was designed to teach high school students to run a start-up business as part of their commerce or economics class.
Ms MacLeod said that there is a lack of opportunity for students to gain experience in the financial services sector, and hopes that the pathway program would help fill the void.
“We want to give back to the profession and providing an avenue for students to gain vital real-life experience in the financial services sector is one way to do that,” the founder said.
“I know from my own experiences there are limited opportunities for students to obtain valuable work experience, and we are keen at Astute Ability Finance Group to make this program a major part of the firm’s fabric.
“We have also made great progress with the School Entrepreneurs Program around the country and are working with the Australasian Academy of Mentoring and Coaching (AAMC) to establish a Certificate III in Business for students who want to pursue a career in financial services.”
Reflecting on her experience, Astute Ability Finance Group’s first intern, year 11 student at St Joseph’s Catholic College East Gosford, Bridie Cartwright, said: “I’ve learnt a lot, particularly the amount of effort the staff put in.
“I know when I finish school I want to go on to do something that relates to business as it really interests me.”
Ms MacLeod claimed that the need for the program was highlighted by the results of an OECD international student assessment report last year which revealed that around 20 per cent of 15-year-olds in Australia lacked basic financial literacy.
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