By GIFT NDOLWANE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – MORE than 100 South African youths have graduated as SAP associate consultants, which guarantees them jobs in ecosystem through SAP’s globally-recognised Skills for Africa initiative.
The graduates have been capped at an event held in Johannesburg on Monday where executives from SAP, the multinational software corporation, partners and clients converged.
The graduation of the 101 youths follows the completion of a 12-week digital skills training programme.
Meena Confait, Head of SAP Africa Skills for Africa, expressed delight at the 100 percent pass rate achieved by the Class of 2016.
“It is a phenomenal result,” she said.
Eskom hosted the event that other partners and clients including Accenture, Bosch, Britehouse, Cornastone, Clariba, Consnet, EOH, ICT Worx, T—Systems and Zimele Technologies attended.
Elsie Pule, HR Group Executive at Eskom said Africa has the fastest growing working-age population and the challenges facing even the most motivated youth are formidable, hence the importance of the SAP Skills for Africa.
“In South Africa, digital education is not accessible for all and we are extremely proud to play an integral role by offering classroom facilities, a state of the art venue to host today’s graduation ceremony, and more importantly – provide a year’s internship to more than 18 students,” she said.
Collin Govender, Vice President for Sales and Service Management at T-Systems said, T-Systems understood technology was a radical game-changer that facilitated the Digital Transformation process.
He said their initiative supported disadvantaged students to develop a future focus and because it delivers highly skilled, business-ready graduates, it enables our organisation to offer our customers the highest levels of skilled services.
The SAP Skills for Africa programme was recently awarded the ‘Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award, which acknowledges innovative programmes globally.
Lawrence Kandaswami, Managing Director for SAP South Africa, said seven of the ten fastest-growing economies are on the African continent and by 2020, 80 percent of jobs are expected to come from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field.
Hence the need to upskill youth in the fields.
“The SAP Skills for Africa programme is a vehicle which actively addresses both technology skills development and job creation and it continues to grow as more partners and customers participate in various
geographies,” said Kandaswami.
The programme has since inception in 2015 placed 418 consultants in employment to date, with more chapters planned in Francophone, East and South Africa in 2017.
SAP Africa Managing Director, Brett Parker, says Skills for Africa is in line with a growth plan for the continent, which included the vision to upskill of a new generation of IT leaders and professionals.
“It is through groundbreaking initiatives such as this that we will see the promise of digital transformation come to life on the African continent,” says Parker.
– CAJ News