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Cartoons to keep pupils in pocket

A comic strip is raising a laugh while helping youngsters to manage money and avoid debt, finds Julia Horton

A comic strip is raising a laugh while helping youngsters to manage money and avoid debt, finds Julia Horton

A new interactive comic book is being launched this week to help Scotland's vulnerable young people avoid debt. Skint! tells the story of two fictional characters and their financial dilemmas through comic-strip illustrations and dialogue, explaining money matters in simple terms.

The publication is particularly aimed at 16 to 26-year-olds who have difficulties with reading and maths. It has been produced by the Scottish Book Trust (SBT), supported by the Scottish Government and Education Scotland.

Koren Calder, young adult project co-ordinator at the SBT, said: "Today's young people are growing up against a backdrop of high unemployment, inflationary pressures, increasing living costs and wage freezes.

"This is a tough climate for any young, inexperienced person to thrive in, but when a young person has difficulties with literacy and numeracy, the risk of that young person getting into problems with financial management really escalates."

She continued: "Skint! uses the power of language and drama to engage young people in financial decision-making, enabling them to develop some of the fundamental skills and understanding they need to help them keep track of their finances, to plan ahead and think through the impact of financial decisions."

Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning and Skills, said: "This is a really effective way to engage with young people and help them to develop key money-management skills.

"Clearly, it will be a very useful tool for a range of people who support 16 to 26-year-olds - teachers, parents, youth workers - and want to help them learn how to manage their money and make the most of their financial skills."

The book follows the success of an earlier collection of short stories explaining financial issues to primary pupils, called On the Money. It was launched at an Education Scotland event yesterday to celebrate International Literacy Day.

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