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Evaluation of MyPocketSkill’s Earning is Learning programme

Evidence type: Evaluation i

Description of the programme

The Children and Young People Financial Education Innovation and Evaluation Programme was commissioned by The Money and Pensions Service in October 2020. It aimed to address gaps in the wider understanding of effective financial education by developing and evaluating new, innovative solutions, or by evaluating existing but untested interventions.

The Earning is Learning pilot was one of seven pilot projects funded, and was one of two that focused on digital delivery. It was delivered via the MyPocketSkill technology platform providing an online earnings and savings platform to young people. It provides opportunities to find paid employment by connecting young people with households and businesses and tests ways of delivering financial education through “just-in-time” and “teachable” moments, linked to an aspect of the platform developed to encourage saving. 323 participants took part in the pilot.

The study

The evaluation, carried out by Ecorys between January–August 2021, was a project-level evaluation that sought to assess the extent to which the Earning is Learning pilot enabled young people to engage with earning and saving money, and whether behavioural nudges helped to create behaviour change amongst young people.

The Earning is Learning pilot evaluation comprised developmental, process and outcome elements. It took a mixed methods approach, collecting quantitative data (via two surveys with platform users plus monitoring information provided by MyPocketSkill) and qualitative data (via virtual interviews with platform users and key stakeholders).

Key findings

Pilot implementation

  • Its digital nature enabled MyPocketSkill to make iterative changes and evolve in real time, as demonstrated by the introduction of a savings pot feature. Alongside other adjustments facilitated by the digital platform, this highlighted the benefits that digital interventions can allow in terms of agility and flexibility.
  • The Earning is Learning programme contributed to the evidence base around the digital delivery of financial education interventions, showing that earning money meant that users were more likely to appreciate the value of the money they earnt.

Pilot outcomes

  • Earning via the platform led to a change in young people’s earning behaviours and motivated them to save money, suggesting that earning money, rather than being given it, impacts on young people’s saving mindset and behaviour. However, there was less evidence they did save more money as a result of using the platform or after seeing behavioural nudges, which had little observed effect.
  • Users engaged for the longest tended to be the most engaged, and the platform connected 32% of users with earning opportunities.
  • Many of the platform users engaged as part of the evaluation already saved money prior to joining the platform, or already thought that saving money was important. Therefore, the MyPocketSkill platform could have even more impact in future by consciously targeting young people who have not previously earned money or are less motivated to save.
  • By allowing users to hold money they earn from the platform in savings pots, MyPocketSkill will be able to better evidence the impact of the platform on changing young people’s saving behaviours in the future. This will provide further evidence on how digital platforms can support experiential learning related to saving behaviour, building on the evidence in this evaluation. In terms of their design, future interventions should look to consider this emerging evidence base when developing digital components or approaches.

Points to consider

  • Methodological strengths/weaknesses: The research design did not include a control group, so it is not possible to compare differences amongst young people earning money via MyPocketSkill and those earning money elsewhere.
    • Long-term changes to young people’s mindset and behaviour with regards to earning and saving are not within the scope of this evaluation.
    • The evaluators noted that respondents were skewed towards the more engaged users of the platform, and were therefore likely to score better in terms of attitudes, motivations, and behaviours around money.
    • The employer viewpoint was not included within the scope of this evaluation.
  • Generalisability/ transferability: This evaluation will be of interest to those with an interest in the development of digital employment/savings platforms and financial behaviour change (particularly in relation to young people).
  • Relevance: The findings are based on users of one technology platform, and should not necessarily be seen as representative of other providers.

Key info

Activities and setting
Earning is Learning was a digital delivery pilot, testing the engagement and behaviour of young people (aged 14-18) in relation to earning and saving money.
Programme delivered by
Earning is Learning was a digital delivery pilot, testing the engagement and behaviour of young people (aged 14-18) in relation to earning and saving money.
Year of publication
United Kingdom
Contact information

Ecorys[email protected]