SAP, has reaffirmed its commitment to youth skills by profiling its SAP Educate to Employ initiative, and public-private partnership with UNICEF and government.
The initiative forms part of SAP’s global commitment to supporting UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited (GenU), a public-private-youth-partnership that aims to deliver innovative solutions to challenges youth face around the world.
In the region, the partnership is aimed at helping young people in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa gain skills for employment, with 100 youth forming part of the initial intake in South Africa.
The Johannesburg event showcased the SAP Educate to Employ initiative which aims to educate youth aged 16–24 years on soft skills, foundational knowledge and SAP skills using the student zone on the SAP Learning site, where students can learn about the latest SAP solutions for free to kickstart their career.
“Skilling of our youth to meaningfully participate in the digital economy is essential to an equality-centric and prosperous nation. We welcome SAP’s continued investment into skills development for the youth, and extend our congratulations to UNICEF and SAP on their partnership.
The South African government is encouraged by the initiative and we look forward to supporting efforts to scale the SAP Educate to Employ initiative”, Pinky Kekana, Deputy Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
The admission of the first 100 participants will be announced at the event, a competitive set of students selected from a pool of 18,000 applicants across the continent who will receive fully remote learning over a six- to twelve-month period, with the aim of joining the SAP ecosystem as a young professional upon completion of the course.
Anele Chulayo, an SAP Educate to Employ candidate commented ‘I have been passionate about coding since high school and the possibility of creating apps and technology that can make a difference to young people from all walks of life. I applied for SAP Educate to Employ in August this year and am delighted to have been selected as part of their programme.
The programme is already underway and I’m excited to be learning new things each and every day including programming language and web development. I believe in the power of technology to do good and make a positive impact and difference in people’s lives, regardless of background.’
Kholiwe Makhohliso, Managing Director at SAP Southern Africa, says: “Upskilling and mobilising Africa’s youth population is one of the defining challenges of our time. To build a prosperous future for all, we must urgently address one of South Africa and the continent’s greatest challenges – youth unemployment – which affects a disproportionate number of African youth.
We are proud to introduce a new Corporate Social Responsibility initiative – SAP Educate to Employ in South Africa as a demand-driven job creation initiative that empowers youth with vital skills, knowledge, attitudes and values to build their competencies for the 21st century digital economy.”
The initiative builds on SAP’s other extensive youth skills development initiatives throughout Africa, including Africa Code Week, which has trained nearly 14 million African youth in basic coding skills, and SAP Young Professional Program, which has equipped nearly 2000 youth in Africa with work-ready SAP skills and certification as well as direct job placements.
SAP and UNICEF first joined forces in support of GenU in 2019 launching in India, Turkey and Vietnam. The partnership was further extended in 2022 with a $4.55 million over three years investment focused on impacting youth in Kenya, Nigeria, the Philippines and South Africa and has since generated opportunities for over 7.6 million adolescents through inclusive and innovative skills development programs.
The initiative launches in South Africa at a time when youth unemployment is at a peak. More than half of South Africa’s youth are currently unemployed. Without concerted effort by public- and private-sector role-players, South Africa will not reap the benefits of its substantial youth skills pool.
Christine Muhigana, UNICEF Representative in South Africa, says: “To remain competitive in a dynamic and changing job market, youth need access to work-relevant skills and training opportunities. Through our partnership with SAP and working closely with key public sector role-players, we believe that this initiative can potentially make a lasting positive impact on youth job prospects in South Africa and beyond.”