None of them have yet to attend university. They are between 14 and 18 years old and are full of energy. The new generation arrives having burst onto the scene. Their mantra: “Learn by doing”. For them, projects like Starters Bootcamp have been created, which this year counts on the support of Banco Santander with the first edition of Santander Bootcamp

From the moment Fernando Redondo and his four partners met each other for the first time at the Liderazgo school of Emprendimiento e Innovación (Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation) at the Universidad de Mondragón, based in Madrid, they discovered that “a new method of learning in higher academics was possible.” “We realized that the Spanish Educational System is not aimed at training young people to make decisions in the future.” says Redondo, a partner at Starters, a bootcamp for teenagers between 14 and 18 years old with whom “we try to create the environment needed for students to learn to think, and learn to learn, and to solve challenges they don’t have to face yet.” Skills and responsibilities that, they assure, cannot be learned in school.

Over 11 days, the participants, divided in teams of five, will launch a project guided by experts from different various fields, “supplying them with a theoretical basis that can be applied efficiently and practically to their projects, as to consolidate knowledge and learning for young people”, Redondo explains.

Through an organized program, teenagers have the opportunity to handle responsibilities that range from creating a business model, designing and developing a MVP to creating a logo and trademark image. All of this reinforced with skills like teamwork, self-motivation, organization, and conflict management.

Business and education: work based in teams

Today, according to the recent report “The future of employment and professional competency of the future: a perspective on business” carried out by the IESE Business School, 72% of the Spanish companies find it difficult to employ people to the posts they offer. The investigation explains that the difficulties the companies interviewed face are related both to an insufficient level of knowledge in some subjects, as well as in the level of ability and skills needed.

For this young entrepreneur, the problem is that people “have lots of degrees and very few skills which they can use once employed” and he asks himself: “What is the point of studying a 4-year degree if you barely acquire any skills?

That’s why Fernando Redondo is convinced that within a few years it will be the very same companies that guide universities and specialized educational centres regarding the type of training that will be offered, taking into account their own requirements “in an insecure labor market, that within 10 years will have new work positions that were previously unknown and will be offered, and less so will be the profiles and skills needed to perform them.”

A project by all for all

Being just 14-18 years old and having excitement about learning are the only requirements to be able to take part in Starters Bootcamp. Creativity, curiosity, initiative, and passion are some of the characteristics that define the best young men and women who join the Starters family.

It’s a family which has showed nonstop growth over the last 3 years. The numbers speak for themselves, and the number of participants has gone from 30 participants in its first edition three years ago, to an anticipated 200 in 2019.

For the founders of the project, one of the most important aspects of the event is that anybody has access to it regardless of their economical situation or position. That’s why Starters Bootcamp is based on financing the positions so they are offered as grants.

To Fernando Redondo, it’s here where the presence of partner companies begin to have a key role, “it’s this way, companies dedicate themselves to and count on future generations as, if it isn’t them doing it already, they will be in the future.”

This year, Starters Bootcamp counts on the support of Banco Santander. The first edition of the innovation campus Santander Bootcamp is aimed at teenageers of employees between 14-18 years of age. The event will be celebrated at the facilities of the Ciudad Financiera Grupo Santander located in Boadilla del Monte, Madrid, and around 50 participants are expected to take part from June 24thto July 6th..

Although they’ve already in mind projects focused on university students close to getting a foot in the door of the labor market, as companies are already “taking into account more people like this apart from the young men and women,” while for the moment the creators of Starters Bootcamp are continuing to focus on young people.

The goal of this project is to link companies with talent that continues learning and getting better, moving closer to the requirements of a constantly changing labor market. A project which helps lay the table for a better future for a generation who is moving quickly up from a classroom desk.