OUR children and young people are growing up in a world where they will one day have to make difficult financial decisions. With more financial products and ways to spend money than ever before, these decisions have become increasingly complex.

Citizens’ Advice found the average user of financially risky products such as payday loans, which have become very popular in recent years, is between 20 and 35 years of age, on a very low income and 87 per cent have other debt issues.

The average UK personal debt per adult was £29,379 in June, according to The Money Charity, continuing a long upwards trend. Around 247 people are declared insolvent or bankrupt in the UK every day, equivalent to one person every 5 minutes and 50 seconds.

Although debt is a necessary part of buying a house or car, setting up a business or paying tuition fees, excessive debt can lead to bankruptcy and restrict access to finance.

August saw students achieve record high A-Level results across my constituency. But the question we must ask is this; are they fully equipped with practical life skills?

It is hard to overstate how important it is that schools put extra emphasis on money management skills alongside, and as a part of, core academic subjects such as mathematics from an early age.

Pupils should learn about the full range of financial products available and the pros and cons of each, including payday loans, mortgages and non-traditional banking through community based credit unions. The Islwyn Community Credit Union and the BAG Credit Union, based in Aberbargoed, are excellent examples of these in my constituency.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People found much more needs to be done to teach money management skills to children in England. I believe Wales can and must lead by example.

In February 2015 the Donaldson Review, which made independent recommendations for the future of the National Curriculum in Wales, specifically called for compulsory financial education as a key part of numeracy skills.

The Welsh Government’s former education minister Huw Lewis took a very important first step forward by accepting the recommendations in full.

If financial education is successfully brought into the Welsh curriculum, our children and young people will have the tools they need to stand a better chance of taking advantage of the opportunities and benefits finance can provide without falling victim to excessive risk.