Business leaders have joined forces with The Birmingham Post to demand Ministers make money management a compulsory part of the National Curriculum.
The call comes as the Government launches a drive to convince youngsters to go to university, despite tripling tuition fees next year.
The Post today launches its own Moneywise Campaign - backed by a #10,000 competition for schools sponsored by Barclays Bank - demanding children are taught the skills they need to handle the increased cost of higher education.
Last night Sir Digby Jones, director-general of business lobby group the CBI, pledged his support for our campaign.
He said: "I applaud The Birmingham Post for doing this. It is an immensely important issue. If we are going to deliver the next generation that can compete in the world, take a proper place in society and act as role models for the following generation then we have to equip them with the things they need to cope in the 21st century.
"Being financially literate is one of the most important things. It is never too young to teach our children to take responsibility for the management of their money."
Sir Digby stressed the business community could play a pivotal role in delivering financial education.
The business leader did not object to universities raising tuition fees, but added: "If you are going to ask people to handle that debt what they have to do is to be financially literate and understand it."
Bob Michaelson, chairman of the West Midlands Institute of Directors, also gave his backing, claiming finance teaching needed to "step up a gear" in schools. "Some schools do it but I think it should be built into the curriculum," he said.
The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce claimed equipping youngsters with moneymanagement skills was an essential part of developing an enterprise culture.
"It is important to encourage youngsters leaving school to set up their own businesses," said spokesman John Lamb. "We want young people to know about investing their money in themselves and their future."
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