Our 'Get Cents' programme gives people from disadvantaged backgrounds the skills to manage their finances. The programme was developed in conjunction with the North Wall Community Training Centre (NWCTC).
KPMG’s ‘Get Cents’ initiative won the Responsible Business Award at the 2016 Docklands Business Forum Awards, and was developed by our staff with the aim of ensuring that participants would be equipped with the knowledge and skills to help them manage their finances and live independently. The programme is organised in three sessions which teach participants about the importance of managing their money, how to draw up household and personal budgets, how best to manage bill payments, the importance of saving and of shopping around.
Our volunteers deliver the course material in a hands-on, interactive way with the success of the initiative firmly based on the mentor style relationship built up between the volunteers and participants.
“The starting point was 2009 when we identified a need among the young people attending courses in the training centre,” recalls NWCTC general manager Trevor Moore.
“They were coming out of school and were in receipt of a FAS training allowance. We get a lot of young people with literacy and numeracy problems, so we felt we had a responsibility to help them manage their finances and we approached KPMG for help.”
The approach was simple. “We said you guys have lots of very bright, talented people and we have people who need help and that we should put them together”, says Trevor. “We met with the people in KPMG, did a few workshops and took it from there. It has gone from strength to strength.”
Since its inception, the programme has been revised three times - in 2009 to work with early school leavers (NWCTC), in 2010 for the homeless (DePaul Ireland) and in 2014, for young people with disabilities (WALK).
The sessions usually involve ten young people and three KPMG volunteer tutors. “The structure of the course allows a relationship to build up between the volunteers and the students and this is very important. The volunteers from KPMG are all young and so they are of a similar age to the student and this helps with the relationship as well. Quite often we hear the sound of laughter coming from the room during the sessions.”
Trevor Moore believes the success of the programme has been in large part due to the quality of the volunteers.
“The KPMG volunteers are very sensitive to students who have literacy problems and this helps greatly”, he says. “The quality of the volunteers and the interactive and engaging design of the course has made it the success it is. We’ve won awards for it and our trainees have benefited greatly over the years. It’s been really nice for our staff and everyone involved and it’s great to be associated with a leading organisation like KPMG.”