Teams from three schools across the city have been given a taste of the fast-paced world of financial trading at a stock market event at Sheffield Hallam University.

The inaugural Sheffield Business School inter-school financial trading competition aims to give A-Level and GCSE pupils a taste of life as a financial trader, using Bloomberg terminals that are used on Wall Street and the London Stock Exchange, to buy stocks from FTSE 100 companies using virtual money.

In teams of eight, each student was given ‘£1 million’ to invest as they saw fit, following training and an economic forecast from lecturer in economics, Drew Woodhouse, principal lecturer in banking, investment and financial management Firoz Bhaiyat and Gary Stead, senior lecturer in accounting.

Drew said: “Not many schools have access to this kind of technology so it’s a real privilege for us to invite them here today and give them a chance to put their knowledge into practice. This is at the heart of what we do as a University.”

After four weeks, the team that has made the most income from their investments from either King Ecgbert School, Birkdale School and Winterhill School will each receive a £50 gift card – with a £100 gift card up for grabs for the individual highest trader.

Henry Burgin, an A-Level economics student at King Ecgbert School said: “It was an enjoyable and interesting day getting a better understanding of how trading works in the real world with a compelling competition.

“As there is money for a reward, it makes trading feel more realistic, as you are more careful with the thought of what to invest in.”

David Horner, economics teacher at Birkdale School said: “So many of the students are interested in this as a potential degree, so to come here and see how the world of financial trading works is extremely valuable for them.”

Dr Rob Wilson, head of department for Finance, Accounting & Business Systems said: “It’s engagement with schools and colleges on activities like the trading competition that can help us to demonstrate the importance of learning about the finance industry, whether that’s to encourage students to study and work in the sector or simply to help support their own personal financial choices in life to secure their future.

“The Sheffield Business School has a unique programme offer for students wishing to find a career in the finance, banking and investment industry.

“Our UK first, Financial Trading and Investment Management degree provides students with the opportunity to learn how to trade stocks and shares for real, alongside their work on the Bloomberg terminals while our new BSc Finance programme allows students to choose from a range of banking and investment modules to tailor make their degree.”