24th November 2020

Santander publishes new report-‘Generation Optimism: The Future of Work’

Students and university entrepreneurs in Europe and Latin America are willing to embrace risk and start their own businesses despite the pandemic ‘s negative impact on the global economy, says a new international survey by Santander.

The findings are contained in a new report, ‘Generation Optimism: The Future of Work’, based on a survey conducted by Santander across nine countries in Europe and Latin America during coronavirus lockdown.

The survey, which reflects the views of 1,094 young people, mainly aged aged between 18 and 25, canvassed opinions on entrepreneurial risk, career aspirations, and education and skills.

A total of 74% said they are keen or willing to start a business, with 39% of aspiring entrepreneurs saying they believe that establishing a business is more risky than before the pandemic but they want to do it anyway. Only 26% said that the risks are now too great.

Young people who participated in the report are part of the global community of Santander Scholarships and Santander X, made up university students, young professionals and entrepreneurs, as well as other students and recent graduates. Responses were received from young people in Spain, Portugal, the UK, Poland, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay–nations in which Santander funds a number of major educational and entrepreneurial support programmes.
The United Nations has warned that that young people may become a “lost generation” blighted by unemployment and poverty–however the survey revealed a surprising degree of optimism among young people. One-third of respondents said they do not believe that they are a lost generation and that they are optimistic about the future.

Less than one-quarter(24%) identified as being part of a lost generation worried about the impact of Covid-19 on their lives. The remainder had mixed feelings on being categorised as a lost generation, with 33% believing that the economic fallout from Coronavirus will affect all generations equally, while a small minority believe older people will be more adversely affected than young people.
Young people believe education and skills are the keys to future prosperity. They believe that strong digital skills will be the most important factor for education in future but also ranked social skills and language skills highly. Vocational education is also seen becoming increasingly important.

An overwhelming majority(91%) do not believe exams are the best way to gauge a candidate’s suitability for a job. The majority also believe that graduates’ capacity to learn new skills is more important than the academic subjects they studied.

As part of its commitment to the prosperity of society, Santander has mobilised more than E100m worldwide to tackle the virus and mitigate the impact on groups most affected, of which E30m was mobilised through Santander Universities. Initiatives to help students affected by the pandemic include more than 25,000 Santander scholarships to help university students and graduates develop digital, language and soft skills in order to improve their job prospects. As well as supporting university research projects aimed at combating the pandemic, Santander is providing assistance to disadvantaged students to enable them to continue their studies.

Santander Universities also created Santander X Tomorrow Challenge, a global challenge for emerging entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions to help mitigate the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19. The challenge culminated in 20 winning start-ups, drawn from 2,251 submissions, being awarded funding and mentoring support to further develop their innovative projects. Students and entrepreneurs who took part in the Santander ‘Future of Work’ survey were drawn from nine countries that featured among the top 20 Santander X Tomorrow Challenge winners.

Santander is firmly committed to progress and inclusive, sustainable growth, with a long-standing dedication to higher education that sets it apart from the world’s other financial institutions. With more than E1,800m invested in academic initiatives since 2002 through Santander Universities and over 430,000 university scholarships and grants awarded since 2005, it has been recognised as the company that invests the most in education worldwide (Varkey/UNESCO, Fortune 500 Report), with 1,000 agreements in place with universities and institutions in 22 countries.

The report "Generation Optimism’: Future of Work Survey 20202 was conducted by Banco Santander in summer 2020. Young people who participated in the survey are part of the global community of Santander Scholarships and Santander X, made up of university students, young professionals and entrepreneurs. Respondents also included other students and young professionals studying or working in Europe or Latin America. Santander sent an online questionnaire to a sample group of students and young people. There was a broadly even gender split, with 52% of respondents identifying as male and 48% as female. In terms of age, 13% were between 18 and 21 years old, 49% were aged from 21 to 24, 24% were aged 25 to 28, and 14% were 29 years old or above. Some of the students were also entrepreneurs, working with student-founded businesses or founders of their own businesses, or had part-time employment. Just over half(51%) of those surveyed identified themselves primarily as students, 13% identified as entrepreneurs or business owners/people. Some 27% described themselves as employed and 9% as unemployed.

Santander Trends(705 articles)
Market information & research(3827 articles)