More than 150 youngsters from across Cheshire East took part in a trading challenge that put their financial skills and acumen to the test on a virtual stock market.
Congleton Town Hall was transformed into a fictional stock exchange, in partnership with local employers, where teams of Year 7 students created investment companies an.d invested a virtual sum of £10,000 in 25 fictional businesses.
To make the investment decisions more challenging, each team had to respond to events over the day that impacted on the 25 businesses, including natural disasters and various economic crises.
The objective was to provide young people with an interactive insight into the world of work and test their skills in maths, economics and business in a global context.
This inaugural event was developed by local employers – Franklyn Financial Management, SAS Daniels, Thrive Creative and East Cheshire Chamber of Commerce – in collaboration with Cheshire East Council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company’s enterprise advisor network.
The winning school was the ‘Prime Investors’ team from Brine Leas Academy, who made more than a 50 per cent profit from their trading. The runner-up was the ‘Global Investments’ team from Shavington Academy.
Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company, said:
“This has been a tremendous success and we are immensely grateful to all the local employers, who have given up time, funding and energy in helping make this event possible. “We would like to thank them for their commitment in helping run our first trading challenge. It is great to have dynamic and forward thinking local employers so dedicated to supporting our young people.”
Andrew Chatterton, managing director of Franklyn Financial Management, said:
“On behalf of the employers who have worked on this project, I would like to thank all the pupils for their enthusiasm and hard work throughout the day. We all are passionate about giving something back to help our young people gain new skills and first-hand experience of making investments and how businesses grow.”
Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said:
“This event has been an excellent learning opportunity with real-life challenges. I hope this will become a regular event and more schools can benefit from the challenge, whilst gaining entrepreneurial skills and business insights.”
Ben Dyer, co-founder and director of The Inspirational Learning Group, the team behind the delivery of the trading challenge, said:
“Days like this are vital to increase our young people’s life skills. Attributes such as teamwork, communication and resilience are critical to them succeeding and realising their true potential and it’s great to be working with the Skills and Growth Company and the commercial partners involved to create such an inspiring day. We hope the participants have gained a lot from it.”
The schools taking part were:
Eaton Bank Academy
Congleton High School
Brine Leas Academy