Media release: Trading bell sounds to launch school skills competition

SCHOOLCHILDREN from Tayside and Fife schools will experience the excitement of the trading room floor ‘virtually’ first hand – thanks to the Stock Market Challenge.

Says a spokesperson: “The competition, now in its seventh year, teaches young people how financial markets work and encourages them to develop key skills such as communication, problem-solving, decision making, teambuilding and negotiation.

“Twenty-five secondary schools from the North East of Scotland will compete in the event, sponsored by BNP Paribas Securities Services, on November 16 at the Bonar Hall in the University of Dundee.”

Stephen Donnet, head of Scottish Operations, BNP Paribas Securities Services, said: “We are delighted to be involved once again with Stock Market Challenge.

“We continue to expand in Scotland and this event is a great opportunity for our teams to work with local schools and communities and give students an insight into the wide range of opportunities in the financial services sector.”

Third-year pupils will work in small teams to trade in shares and foreign currency. Each team will start with £15,000 in ‘virtual’ cash to invest by interpreting and analysing information from the stock market.

The simulated live trading will take place over a two-hour period, during which time pupils will build a portfolio of shares and currency by making decisions about when to invest and when to sell. The team with the highest portfolio at the closing bell wins.

Skills Development Scotland operations director, Danny Logue, said: “Every day these young people are becoming gradually more aware of the challenges facing our businesses and communities as a result of the present economic situation.

“That’s why this competition is particularly relevant this year. It will help bring the subject very much to life for those taking part, and will allow them to gain a better understanding of how the financial markets and other economic factors impact on the decisions they as ‘traders’ will make.

“However, it teaches young people about far more than just the money markets, it also encourages them to work in a team to develop their communication skills and their decision making ability – skills which will be vitally important to them when they enter the world of work whichever career path they ultimately choose.”

Last year’s event saw Bell Baxter High School win having a portfolio of £115,000, while Carnoustie High School were runners up.

Pictured: Bell Baxter High School students after winning 2009 Stock Market Challenge.

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Contact: SDS