News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – The Ministry of Economy and Labour is providing an update on Financial Assistance Reform and a collaborative initiative with the Department of Workforce Development.
On September 24th, 2021, the Ministry tabled a Bill entitled Financial Assistance Amendment Act 2021 to facilitate part of the Financial Assistance Reform Strategy. The Reform Strategy consists of the following four (4) overarching aims:
1. Increase sustainability of the Financial Assistance Programme;
2. Strengthen the education, training, and employment services for financial assistance recipients;
3. Encourage individuals and families to become financially independent; and
4. Improve the programme to better support persons with disabilities.
“It was promised that Financial Assistance Reform would be implemented in a phased approach with the first phase involving the implementation of Personal Employment Plans (PEP),” said Minister of Economy and Labour, Jason Hayward.
“In accordance with the amendment, the Director of the Department of Financial Assistance may impose a condition that requires an able-bodied recipient of an award to enter into an agreement which identifies a direct path towards attaining employment opportunities. In addition, other personal development courses or programmes will be included to assist in developing technical and financial literacy skills needed to sustain their households without the dependency of the financial system.”
In order to assist persons on financial assistance in becoming more confident in making better and more sustainable decisions for their households, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society of Bermuda collaborated to launch a ‘pilot’ Financial Literacy Series which began on March 23rd, 2022. This course included three (3) sessions presented once weekly over a period of three (3) weeks.
The weekly presentations comprised of the following topics:
§ Week One: Values, Goals and Budgeting
§ Week Two: Expenses and Debt
§ Week Three: Income and Savings
Thirteen (13) recipients of financial assistance participated in this ‘pilot’ collaboration which ended on April 6th, 2022. Their participation in this course will be reflected in their PEP as it forms part of their development. The financial literacy series was facilitated in person at the Department of Workforce Development and virtually for those unable to attend in person.
Minister Hayward concluded, “April is Financial Literacy Month, and we are hopeful that with this collaborative effort, we will enhance the lives of others by strengthening their capacity to understand money management.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chartered Financial Analyst Society of Bermuda and the Department of Workforce Development for bringing this pilot to fruition. I look forward to the continuation of this great work.”