Media release: Competition shows Scotland’s finance industry will be in good hands

PUPILS from 21 Tayside, Angus and Fife schools took part in this year’s Stock Market Challenge and finished with investments of over £600,000 in virtual shares and currency.

The competition, designed as world-of-work initiative, was delivered by Skills Development Scotland and sponsored by BNP Paribas Securities Services.

The challenge took place on November 16 at the University of Dundee and focused on teaching pupils how financial markets operate, while also promoting the values of communication and team working skills.

Working in small teams, the S3 pupils were challenged to use their skills to manage a portfolio of shares and foreign currencies.

The participating teams made their investment decisions by interpreting and analysing information from the financial markets and simulated live trading was held over a two-hour period.

Fife’s Bell Baxter High School stormed the trading floor and came out on top, finishing with an exceptionally well-managed fund of £46,200.

The runners-up, Perth High School, were not far behind and made an impressive profit of £44,200. Montrose Academy came in a very close third with a total profit of £41,000.

This year, the sponsors made this experience even more accessible by giving the participating schools a free year-long licence for the Stock Market Challenge online resource.

Stephen Donnet, head of BNP Paribas’ Scotland operations, commented: “It has been a great pleasure to sponsor Stock Market Challenge again this year.

“This event gives many youngsters an insight into how financial markets work, and gives us the opportunity to share our skills and knowledge.

“Reports from the Challenge indicate that the spirit and enthusiasm were as high as ever. It was also exciting to hear about the potential and entrepreneurship many of the participants displayed over the day.”

Damien Yeates, chief executive of Skills Development Scotland, said: “This year’s Stock Market Challenge has been another great success. The hard work and determination displayed by the pupils who took part in Dundee is terrific.

“The competition is a fantastic way to help educate pupils about the financial markets in an enjoyable setting.

“However, it also provides them with the opportunity to work as a team and improve and develop their communication and decision making abilities.

“These are important skills which are vital to help them get ahead when they leave school, whether they decide to go into employment or further education.”

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Contact: SDS