Media Release: Schools quick to invest in skills competition

SCHOOLS in Edinburgh, Lothians and the Borders have signed up once again for Skills Development Scotland’s popular Stock Market Challenge.

Pupils will get the opportunity to experience the excitement of a live trading floor at the event, sponsored by Standard Life.

The competition, delivered by SDS, 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-six secondary schools will take part in the South-East region competition on November 18 in the University of Edinburgh’s Pollock Halls.

Staff from sponsors Standard Life will participate as ‘traders’ to recreate a ‘real time’ trading floor.

Third-year pupils will work in small teams to trade in shares and foreign currency. Each team will start with a share portfolio to invest and manage by interpreting and analysing information from the stock market.

Simulated live trading will take place over a two-hour period, during which time the 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.

Tina Livingston, Education Investment manager, Standard Life, said: “We are delighted to support this important initiative once again.

“World stock markets often dominate the news agenda and we feel it is important to help school children understand how investment markets actually work.

“This valuable insight will not only build key skills, it will also lead to better financial capability.”

Skills Development Scotland operations director, Danny Logue, said: “Every day these young people are becoming 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 money markets, it 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.”

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