Media Release: Profits soar for financial whizz kids


PUPILS from 25 Tayside, Perthshire and Fife schools took part in this year’s Stock Market Challenge and finished with investments of over £500,000 in virtual shares and currency.

The competition, designed as a world-of-work initiative, was sponsored by leading financial services company, BNP Paribas Securities Services – and delivered in collaboration with Skills Development Scotland.

Hosted in the University of Dundee’s Bonar Hall last Tuesday (15 November), the challenge focused on teaching pupils how financial markets operate and helping them develop their applied maths skills and business understanding.

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.

Arbroath Academy stormed the trading floor and came out on top finishing with an exceptionally well-managed fund of £58,300. The runners-up, St. Paul’s Academy, were not far behind and made an impressive profit of £55,100.

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.

Minister for Learning Dr. Alasdair Allan said: “Having met some successful young players of the stock market at the launch of re:Think earlier this autumn, I have seen for myself the value of training our young people in the skills needed to succeed in the financial sector.

“Congratulations to this year’s pupils. I hope to see them take up careers and successfully play the stock market for real in the coming years!”

Jennifer Parihar, head of Position Keeping and Control at BNP Paribas Securities Services in Dundee said: “The Stock Market Challenge is an event that many of our people look forward to participating in each year.

“It’s a great way to open up our business to a wider audience, and perhaps encourage new talent into the financial services industry.”

Skills Development Scotland’s sector manager for Financial Services, Ian Hanson, 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.

“The event also complements our work on the Financial Services Skills Gateway – such as the recent launch of the website, ‘re:think’ – an initiative that aims to encourage young people in to the finance industry.

“But it is about far more than just money markets, it encourages young people 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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Contact: Scott Caldwell
Phone: 0141 285 6049