Prudential apprenticeships: providing a great start

Youth unemployment is a huge social challenge. As one of the most respected brands in the UK, Prudential is taking a major role in helping to shape future job prospects for young people.

Over the past two years we have recruited 90 young people to our high-quality apprenticeship programme. Based at our London, Reading or Stirling offices, apprentices gain important work and life skills as well as achieving recognised vocational and professional qualifications.

Many of our apprentices have already taken the next step in their careers. Two-thirds of those who completed the programme in 2014 secured ongoing employment with Prudential, while others chose to work elsewhere or moved on to higher education.

The clear benefit to both the young people and to the business means Prudential is committed to funding the apprenticeship programme for at least the next three years.

See the video below to hear from our apprentices

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2/3 secured ongoing employment with Prudential

First Read – developing children’s skills

The Prudence Foundation has funded and supported the First Read programme since 2013, partnering with Save the Children to focus on investing in early childhood care and development in Cambodia and the Philippines.

First Read is a unique programme that helps parents to develop their children’s numeracy and literacy skills by providing books in the local language or dialect, and encouraging them to read, sing and count together. It also helps parents understand the importance of healthy and nutritious food for children’s development.

Over three years the programme will benefit more than 170,000 children aged up to six, as well as adults, through learning and reading materials. The programme aims to reach a further 413,000 community members through the expected sharing of knowledge and resources.

So far, over 60,000 children and 80,000 adults have participated directly and more than 350,000 community members have benefited indirectly.

In April 2014, His Excellency Dr Hang Chuon Naron, Cambodia’s Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, joined a site visit in the Prey Veng province of Cambodia, to see first-hand how the First Read programme was having a positive impact on the local community. He said: ‘The government is delighted to be supporting a grassroots initiative such as First Read to make sure the country’s children are sure to have the best start when it comes to education. The government is also grateful for the ongoing support of Save the Children as well as the significant contribution of the Prudence Foundation and Prudential Cambodia.’

Watch our volunteers in action

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170,000 children and parents to benefit over three years

Cha-Ching – instilling financial literacy

We have a long-standing commitment to financial literacy and Cha-Ching, a pioneering financial education programme for children, was launched first in Asia in 2011 by the Prudence Foundation. It is a multimedia programme built around musical cartoons, to help parents instil money-smart skills in children aged seven to 12. The Cha-Ching programme now reaches 26 million households a day, is available in nine languages and has expanded to three continents, including the US and Africa. Prudential has always seen it as a priority to educate and inform and to ensure that the next generation has the necessary tools to make informed choices. This programme is designed for the digital-savvy child of the 21st century.

The programme, developed with the Cartoon Network and children’s education specialist Dr Alice Wilder, has become one of the top-rated children’s television shows in Asia and gained international recognition for promoting financial literacy. In 2014, it began airing in Korea through the Cartoon Network, and in Myanmar and Cambodia through their national free-to-air channels.

Through the Cha-Ching School Contact programme, we also work with schoolchildren across Asia to improve their financial knowledge and capabilities. To date, the programme has reached 157,000 schoolchildren in nine countries. We are now working with Junior Achievement to develop a standardised school curriculum for Cha-Ching.

In the Philippines, the Ministry of Education has made the Cha-Ching financial literary programme part of the public school curriculum for Grade 2 and 3 students. In 2014, more than 200 educators from the public sector attended the first Cha-Ching Educators Congress on Financial Literary, held in collaboration with the Department of Education.

The principal of a school in the Philippines said: ‘Cha-Ching opened our minds… it is not enough that our pupils know the content of every textbook in the curriculum. They have to be money-wise and that's where Cha-Ching entered and played an important role in changing the minds of our pupils and even our teaching force. Financial literacy is an important skill that our kids can now have to function as better citizens of our country. We thank you for bringing Cha-Ching to our school.’

Cha-Ching has also gained huge momentum in Malaysia. The Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin Haji Mohd Yassin, who is also the Minister of Education, commented: ‘Prudential’s initiatives are complementing the Ministry of Education’s efforts to promote financial literary and instil the right values in our children, which will go a long way in creating a Malaysian society that is both financially savvy and responsible’.

In Cambodia, Cha-Ching has been endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for its educational values and been approved for further dissemination in the region.

In the US, Cha-Ching was successfully launched in Rhode Island on the public television station, Rhode Island PBS. Social media was a component of the launch, emphasising the partnership with Jackson and the educational value of Cha-Ching. Plans are in place to model the success of Rhode Island PBS in other markets. Molly Garrison, Director of Development at Rhode Island PBS, said: ‘Thanks to the support of Jackson, Rhode Island PBS has been able to broadcast the Cha-Ching financial literacy learning episodes into 1.5 million households. It is never too early to begin financial empowerment lessons; preschoolers are ready to learn the difference between wants, needs and the basics of pricing. Teaching money choices including Earn, Save, Spend and Donate, help families reach their goals. The better educated Rhode Island's students are about their finances, the stronger financial citizens they will become.’

In Africa, we are introducing Cha-Ching through a literacy programme designed to improve access to information and activities that support the growing and critical need for financial literacy education for African youth. The programme will ensure students acquire critical and essential financial concepts to help them make wise money management decisions. They will use the different platforms that the Cha-Ching programme offers to consolidate and enhance their learning, and will also benefit from our employee volunteers’ personal and professional experience.

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Programme reached 157,000 school children in nine countries

Greenhouse – changing lives through sport

Prudential is headquartered in the City of London – one of the most dynamic financial services centres in the world. Yet a few streets away from the City are some of the most deprived communities in the UK.

Guided by the principle that if teenagers have no goal in life, they have nothing to aim for, Greenhouse, established in 2002, works full-time in schools and the community, using sport to develop self-discipline and encourage educational performance among teenagers from some of London’s most deprived areas.

Prudential is the principal sponsor of Greenhouse’s basketball programme and is committed to a three-year programme of support. This funding allows more than 1,000 young people living in disadvantaged communities to participate every week.

Greenhouse coaches – who include current and past Olympians – are selected for their ability to coach, mentor and act as role models to young people. The coaches work 40 hours a week, 45 weeks a year, providing access to training before, during and after school, at weekends and during school holidays. Each coach looks to engage up to 75 young people for an average of two hours each week; the coach will intensively engage approximately 38 young people for more than four hours per week.

Through intensive sport programmes, Greenhouse has produced some outstanding results. Participating teenagers had improved school attendance and better classroom discipline, and their progression in Maths and English is nearly double the rate of their peer group.

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1,000 young people participate in basketball programmes every week

Business Class – a partnership to raise standards

Our award-winning Business Class programme is now firmly established in our partner schools.

Businesses have worked with the education sector for many years. What differentiates Business Class is that it is a long-term, needs-driven approach, which allows us as a business to partner with a school and engage in the most appropriate and meaningful way to support the raising of standards and attainment. Prudential UK has been involved in the programme since October 2011 and the results to date are very encouraging.

Business Class also provides a rich vein of skilled volunteering opportunities, with around 70 colleagues being involved with our partner schools to develop and deliver a variety of interventions where their knowledge, experience and skills help with some of the most pressing issues in local schools. Through our partnership, we are working with schools in Reading, Stirling and Westminster. As well as supporting senior managers to develop their leadership skills, and faculty managers to enhance their people management skills, we have built a menu of activities to help young people understand the opportunities available to them when they leave school, as well as working to improve their confidence and motivation.

Businesses partner with a school in the most deprived areas and work strategically for three years on an action plan driven by the school’s needs, covering areas such as leadership, curriculum and achievement.

As well as providing benefits for the students, the programme gives Prudential staff an opportunity to develop their own skills. “This is not an overnight process and it is really important to have a delivery plan,” says Gavin Rennie, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Prudential UK. “Prudential people are actively encouraged to get involved and there are lots of development opportunities for the volunteers. Everyone is very positive about the contribution we can make and how we are developing our people at the same time.”

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70 Prudential volunteers bring their skills to our partner schools

United States – Inspiring young people to succeed

In the US, more than 600 Jackson employees helped prepare young people for the future, through volunteering and fundraising for Junior Achievement (JA).

JA teaches young people the knowledge and skills they need to succeed, and helps them make smart academic and financial choices. In 2014, Jackson employees delivered programmes on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship for over 8,000 students, from kindergarten through to high school.

In addition, the JA Build Your Future App tool was created to help students, their parents and teachers to break down the cost of achieving a young person’s goal, and plan accordingly.

Danielle Robinson, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Jackson, said: ‘Our employees love volunteering with Junior Achievement and see the direct benefit to students. Two of our executives also serve on the JA board of directors and we provide support through grants, matching gifts and in-kind donations. Being a financial services company, we know how critically important financial literacy is, and from our perspective JA does it best.’

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600+ Jackson employees helped prepare young people for the future

Prudential Africa's scholarship programme

In 2014, we created the Prudential Africa Scholarship programme to help talented children from disadvantaged backgrounds finish their secondary education.

In Ghana, where we launched the programme, many children do not make the transition from junior to senior high school because their families cannot afford the cost. Prudential scholarships help to bridge this gap. Working with the charity Plan Ghana, over five years we will provide support and mentoring to more than 500 vulnerable 15-to-19-year-olds, at least 60 per cent of whom will be girls.

We have now extended the scheme to Kenya, our second African market, where we are supporting 228 students over five years of secondary school, in partnership with the charities Plan Kenya and Kenya Education Fund. As well as receiving financial support, students will benefit from mentoring by Prudential colleagues.

Ama, 19, is a first-year student at Osudouku Senior High school in Ghana’s south-eastern Shai Osudouku district.  She studies General Arts and is one of the best students in her class. Ama’s father died when she was six years old. Her mother tries to make ends meet by selling corn dough and cassava flour, but she only makes around US$2.70 per day, which is not enough to pay Ama and her sister’s school fees and cover household expenses. Ama was lucky that her church paid her primary and junior high school fees, but they were unable to support her further. Ama and her sister tried to raise money by selling charcoal and vegetables after school and in the holidays, but this left Ama with very little time to study and her schoolwork suffered.

Ama is delighted that now, with a Prudential Africa Scholarship, she will be able to focus on her studies and finish senior high school to the best of her abilities. She said: ‘I am very happy because a big burden has been lifted from me and my poor sister. I am very grateful to Prudential for providing the funds for this scholarship.’

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Over five years, more than 500 students will benefit from the Prudential Scholarship Programme.

Kenyan scholarship scheme launched

Prudential Africa has extended its flagship scholarship scheme to Kenya.

We are supporting 228 students over five years of secondary school, in partnership with charities Plan Kenya and Kenya Education Fund. The scholarship recipients will be selected according to academic merit and financial need.

The Prudential Scholarship Scheme was launched last year in Ghana, where we are supporting 500 gifted senior high school students to complete their education.

As well as receiving financial support, students will benefit from mentoring by Prudential colleagues. The first mentoring workshops will take place in August in Ghana.

At Prudential we pride ourselves on being a long-term partner with our communities, wherever we operate. We are committed to empowering people, from helping with disaster preparedness across South-East Asia, to teaching new skills to financially disadvantaged people in the US and providing apprenticeship opportunities in the UK.

One of our priorities is education and skills development, because we believe helping people make the most of their talents is the key to sustainable growth.

We are proud to have already committed to supporting more than 700 students in Ghana and Kenya through the Prudential Scholarship scheme. We believe those students will go on to make great contributions to their families, communities and countries.

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228 students celebrate receiving their Prudential Scholarships, Kenya.

Chairman’s Challenge in Ghana

Prudential Ghana has joined with Junior Achievement (JA) Africa, Fidelity Bank and development consultancy GIZ to educate young people about managing money.

The Literacy Counts campaign will promote the importance of teaching financial skills as early as possible, focusing on secondary school students. 

The partners launched the campaign with a Literacy Counts Day, at Christ the King International School in Accra on May 27, with the support of volunteers from Prudential and the other partners, as well as communications agency Stratcommm and private equity firm The Abraaj Group.

More than 170 junior secondary school students took part in the event, which included presentations by Prudential volunteers and other experts from the banking, insurance and development sectors.

The students had a chance to put what they had learnt into practice with a ‘hands-on’ team-building financial challenge to develop an innovative savings solution for youth.  After two competitive rounds, the winning team was the Sparrow House, with their innovative ‘Save It Up’ scheme, which proposed using financial incentives to help students save while they earn good grades.

Dr Chinwe Effiong, President of JA Africa, said strategic partnerships with industry leaders like Prudential, Fidelity Bank and GIZ are vital for long-term, sustainable development. They create communities of continued support for students and school administrators that result in better-quality education.  Dr Effiong thanked the partners for their generous support and the commitment of their volunteers.

Mabel Aninakwah, one of the Prudential volunteers who took part in day, said: "It was a day well spent. I ended up learning a lot more from the experience - and I thought I was the one going to teach. It was refreshingly different from what my typical Wednesday at work would have been. The enthusiasm from the kids was infectious and it was rewarding to have been part of an activity like this one that challenged their creativity and brought smiles to their faces.”

The Literacy Counts campaign is the first project Prudential is sponsoring in Africa as part of our global employee volunteering scheme, Chairman’s Challenge. Last year, 6,000 colleagues around the Group dedicated their time, skills and energy to helping their communities through the programme. We look forward to working with colleagues across Prudential Africa to develop other Chairman’s Challenge projects.

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More than 170 students learn about money management at the Literacy Counts Day, Accra.

The BEE programme: teaching inner-city children enterprise skills

In 2014, Group Head Office and M&G ran financial literacy workshops for nine to 11-year-olds in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, as part of the Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership’s Business Enterprise and Employability programme (BEE).

The BEE programme, uniquely designed to be delivered by volunteers from the business community, comprises six workshops on financial knowledge, enterprise skills and employability. Pupils also have the chance to visit Prudential’s offices and The Bank of England Museum.

The first three workshops focus on money and work issues such as salaries, taxes and how to budget. The final three sessions develop enterprise skills, giving children the chance to work in teams to create and market a product to be sold for charity. In the 2013/14 academic year, 60 students successfully completed the programme, giving them a better understanding of key financial concepts.  A further 30 students will be finishing the programme in 2015.

Amy Brocklehurst, Prudential’s Director of Strategy and Corporate Development and a BEE volunteer, said: ‘It was great fun and very rewarding volunteering on the BEE programme. The kids were so enthusiastic and keen to learn, it was quite an inspiration. They weren’t overly familiar with some of the concepts we were talking to them about so it felt like they really were getting something out of the sessions. An added bonus was working with a wide variety of participants from Prudential who I had not met before.’

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60 students successfully completed the programme in 2013/14