SAP in drive to boost SA ICT skills

2015-09-29 12:00 - Duncan Alfreds, Fin24
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SAP says that big data technologies will make a significant impact on society. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Cape Town – Enterprise software firm SAP has announced the launch of a skills initiative designed to train 10 000 ICT consultants.

The company launched the South African chapter of its 'Skills for Africa' programme which has already interviewed 1 000 candidates and whittled them down to 75.

“As a technology-focused organisation, it is critical that we continue to invest locally in developing a specific set of skills to ensure we remain competitive not only as a company, but as a country,” said Siphiwe Zwane, Multichoice SAP Centre of Excellence functional teams manager.

The study programme seeks to deploy 10 000 ICT professionals across the continent by 2020 and it is expected that partnerships with governments will result in more effective service delivery.

“The importance of partnering with the private sector for such an initiative strategically supports public sector efforts in South Africa. There is a key transformative role that effective technology plays as it ensures better collaboration, alongside ongoing investment in the development of local youth,” said Benjamin Ndigi, chief director of Resources in the Gauteng Provincial Government.

Partnerships

SAP has also partnered with South African tech companies on the scholarship programme including Accenture, ATOS, BMW, Consnet and T-Systems, among others.

Once students complete the programme they will intern at some of the partner organisations.

“This type of partnership with SAP is mutually beneficial in that it provides us with a platform to hone and develop world-class talent,” said Zwane.

Africa is seen as an emerging economy attractive to companies eager to tap the potential growth market that exists.

“The spread of peace and good governance is providing Africa's entrepreneurs with the necessary conducive environment to promote themselves and establish their industries,” President Jacob Zuma said in his Pan African Students Association address at Princeton University, New York.

In a partnership with universities, SAP hopes that at tertiary institution students will obtain a SAP functional or technical certification in their final two years of study.

The company made it clear that the programme was not a charity but rather an investment into creating a skills set in areas where shortages hampered business growth.

“SAP Africa recognises that skills development with a view to concrete job creation is one of the best ways to deal not only with skills shortages facing the technology industry, but also help address South Africa’s chronic youth unemployment issue,” said Pfungwa Serima, executive chair of SAP Africa.


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