SAP Africa has officially introduced Cape Town to its latest chapter in the company’s Skills for Africa skills development and job creation initiative. This chapter of the programme involves local SAP customers and partners including; Accenture, Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Zimele Technologies, Consnet, UCS and the City of Cape Town who all share the same mission of promoting economic growth to develop a platform for sustainable job creation in the region.
A press conference was held today at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) – a member of the SAP University Alliances programme – to officially mark the kick-off of the orientation programme for the first group of Western Cape SAP Skills for Africa students. More than 350 graduates applied for the programme and after rigorous review and interviewing procedures, 44 students were finally selected.
In addition to the beginning of the orientation process at the beginning of a 12-week intensive training programme, the students will also be trained in the MIT Scratch software coding methodology to enable them to act as trainers for another SAP skills development initiative, Africa Code Week which is the largest literacy coding event organised on the African continent. Launched last year with over 89 000 youngsters trained in coding across 17 African countries, this year’s series of events will see more than 150 000 youth across 30 African countries targeted.
“The City of Cape Town has been an SAP partner since 2003. Over the years the City has been internationally recognised for its visionary use of this technology in delivering basic services, encouraging connected residents and developing smart solutions for effective project and programme management. Today the City’s implementation of its SAP system is considered one of the largest and most successful ERP implementations in local government, worldwide. As digital skills are critical precursors to the growth of developing economies, Cape Town is committed to collaborating with our private sector partners as we continue to build on this legacy by empowering our youth with technical skills. As such, I am incredibly proud to be here today as the City of Cape Town in collaboration with SAP Africa offers employment to 15 graduates with highly sought after technical qualifications,” commented The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services and Compliance, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.
“The SAP Skills for Africa graduate programme is one of the best investments that CPUT, SAP and the MICT SETA can make in the youth and economy of South Africa. We are honoured to play a prominent role in this initiative by hosting two classes at our premises. The high number of participants here in Cape Town represents a major investment in business and industry where SAP skills are often hard to find,” added Willem Lotter, Dean of Faculty of Business & Management Sciences at CPUT.
The SAP Skills for Africa programme is an intense ICT and business skills course and this first Cape Town chapter will take place from end June to September. In response to specific requests from the SAP customers involved, for the first time, the students will be introduced to the SAP Industry Solutions: Retail and Utilities as part of their training. The SAP Skills for Africa course also incorporates essential business and soft skills training as well an introduction to SAP HANA – SAP’s in-memory data platform that is deployable as an on-premise appliance or in the cloud – with formal SAP Academy accreditation resulting in an internationally recognised associate SAP consultant certification. The programme is fully-sponsored with no cost to the students.
“Pick n Pay has committed itself to creating 20 new jobs every working day until 2020. We know that millions of South Africans, and indeed people across the continent are unemployed, and welcome the SAP training that is being offered. We are proud to be one of the sponsors of this training in South Africa. As South Africa’s favourite retail store, sustainability is part of our business model and this partnership is one way of helping to address unemployment”, commented Chris Shortt, General Manager Information Systems at Pick n Pay.
Lawrence Kandaswami, Managing Director for SAP South Africa added that there are many education and skills development initiatives that been introduced across Africa over the years, but what is key is to link skills development to job creation through internships – resulting in jobs for these talented individuals.
“In a developing economy such as ours, a digital education isn’t accessible for all. What we see is a cavernous gap between the education that young people are receiving and what the employment market needs. Critical to the success of the SAP Skills for Africa programme is collaboration and we are delighted to be partnering with Western Cape business and government through this exciting initiative.”
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