Enlightened by an Evening of Economics

By Beatrice de Souza-Girao

Under the banner of ‘An Evening of Economics – An Insight into HM Treasury’, Year 12 and Year 13 Economics students from UCS and partner schools including LAE Stratford and Michaela Community School attended an illuminating presentation from HM Treasury (HMT), giving insights into the role of this key government department.

As the UK’s finance and economic ministry, HMT manages public finances (controlling government expenditure and taxation), implements government policy of levelling up (centred on increasing employment and productivity) and ensures macro-economic and financial stability. The presentation focused mainly on enriching our understanding of what it is like to work at HMT by offering examples of the required skills and type of work undertaken there.

In addition, the speakers provided a deep dive into specific work streams currently prioritised at HMT. This included a detailed overview of the policy objectives behind levelling up (to bring GDP per capita in the south and north of the UK up to the higher levels of London and more in line with international comparisons), and the policy actions to achieve it.

And given the increasing importance of sanctions against regimes such as Syria, Russia, North Korea and others, the speakers shed light on the functions of the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), which targets those responsible for the misappropriation of Ukrainian and other state funds and punishes those responsible for human rights violations.

Many pupils interacted with the speakers by asking questions of varying angles. One question that particularly stood out was “What is the problem with insufficient land use and levelling up?”; another was “How does the Treasury prepare and plan for unforeseen events in the future, given the global financial crisis [of 2007–08] and Covid?”. Finally, pupils received guidance on how to apply for apprenticeships, direct entry and generally how to get a job in HMT in the future.

Overall, the session was instructive about the fundamental role played by HMT in managing the UK economy and finances, and useful as it delineated a pathway to employment opportunities. Without a doubt, it enlightened us A Level economists with content beyond the syllabus.

Back to all highlights
You may also be interested in

Fives back in favour at UCS

Fives back in favour at UCS

Fresh take on an old classic

Fresh take on an old classic

DNA link-up at Pre-Prep

DNA link-up at Pre-Prep