JUST 58 PER CENT of teenagers in Ireland expect to find work in the country following third-level education, a new survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU).
The Teens & Money survey, which aimed to look at the financial awareness of teenagers and their attitudes to money in terms of both saving and spending,was carried out in association with Youth Work Ireland and involved 250 teenagers across the country between the ages of 13-19.
The key findings of the survey revealed that:
- 80 per cent of teens surveyed worry about the costs associated with third level education
- 58 per cent say they expect to find work in Ireland after college
- 72 per cent stated that their parents have spoken to them about the family’s financial situation in the past 12 months
- 44 per cent of teens say that their family has been seriously affected by the recession
- 51 per cent of teens receive pocket money on a regular basis with 25 per cent receiving between €20 and €25
- Over 50 per cent spend most of the pocket money they get and only save a little
- The majority of those saving are doing so to fund third level education
Some 51 per cent of the respondents said they receive some pocket money from their parents or guardians each week, while 49 per cent do not.
Of those that received pocket money, 8 per cent said they received €5 or less; 6 per cent said between €6-€9; 33 per cent said between €10-€15; 14 per cent said between €15-€19; 25 per cent said between €20-€25; 2 per cent said between €26-€30 and 12 per cent per cent said €30 or more.
Of those who received pocket money, 17 per cent spend it all; 51 per cent spend most of it but save a little, 30 per cent save most of it and spend a little; and just over 2 per cent save all of their pocket money. The top five most popular items on which pocket money is spent are clothes (53 per cent), phone credit (48 per cent), food (48 per cent), school or college expenses (20 per cent) and socialising (46 per cent).
Of those who were saving, 26 per cent said they were doing so for third level education, 7 per cent for concert tickets, 12 per cent for an iPhone or laptop, 9 per cent for a new phone and 24 per cent for a holiday.
Some 16 per cent of respondents said they had a part-time job, with an average of 11 hours worked a week.
A majority of parents of teenagers (72 per cent) had spoken to their sons and daughters about the family’s financial situation in the past 12 months – and the majority of teenagers (90 per cent) believe that their family has been affected by the recession. Of that 90 per cent, 44 per cent believe their family has been ‘seriously impacted’ by the recession.
Some 72 per cent of teenagers said estimated that the average person in Ireland earns €30,000 or less. When asked how much they themselves expect to be earning at 30 years of age, 36 per cent said €30,000 or less; 23 per cent said €40,000; 19 per cent said €50,000 ;and 22 per cent said €60,000 or more.
Education and careers
The majority of respondents (90 per cent) planned to go on to some form of third level education, but 80 per cent say that are “really worried” about the costs associated with going to college.
Just 58 per cent of teenagers said they expect to find a job in Ireland after college, and 80 per cent of those surveyed said that if they could not find a job they would emigrate.
When asked about what was driving their career choices, 12 per cent said the main factor considered likely earnings, 1 per cent cited the availability of employment, 15 per cent cited how much ‘good’ they could do for others, and 66 per cent cited enjoyment.
Jimmy Johnstone, President of the ILCU, said they had conducted the survey to ensure that credit unions would have a better understanding of the needs of teenagers in terms of finance and the recession. “We hope that our research will assist credit unions to help younger members and their families through these difficult times and to prepare them for college,” he said. “The new social and financial reality of life in Ireland and the lack of supply of affordable, modest credit from most financial institutions means that the role of the credit union will become more important in the years and decades ahead.”
Meanwhile, Michael McLoughlin of Youth Work Ireland said the low numbers of those in part time employment demonstrates the “financial vulnerable position of young people today”, while the large number of young people who evidently expect their future to be abroad should “act as a wake-up call for decision makers”.