The SAP Young Professional Program, part of the larger Skills for Africa initiative, has expanded its footprint with an updated,
completely virtual model that, amid the pandemic, has enabled young candidates to participate in the program in several African countries.
The program has educated and graduated more than 1300 young people across Africa since
its introduction in 2012, with 99 percent having been put in meaningful jobs after graduation.
Cathy Smith, Managing Director of SAP Africa, says the 2020 events have made
access to a ready supply of digital expertise more relevant than ever for organizations.
“Every organisation needs digital skills in order to meet modern customer demands and become more resilient as they adapt to the extraordinary events
of 2020. Despite the disruption brought by the pandemic, the new virtual teaching model has opened the door to more countries participating and will
provide greater access to digital skills for more countries in the region.”
For university graduates, the SAP Young Professional Program is a two- to three-month
training and growth opportunity that teaches technical and practical knowledge of key SAP technologies.
In order to ensure that graduates are able to make an immediate difference in their workplace when they
complete the training and become accredited SAP Associate Consultants, the training is combined with soft and potential skills.
Graduates gain a competitive advantage in the job market and benefit from
introductions to SAP ecosystem job opportunities to help them secure a role.
This year the SAP Young Professional Curriculum moved to a virtual delivery model in the light of
the pandemic, enabling more countries to benefit from global best practice as all candidates completed the training remotely.
The program was launched in 2020 in Algeria, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Uganda, Tanzania, Ivory Coast and
Senegal, where local university graduates have been motivated, including talent from remote areas outside the capital cities.
A group of 22 graduates from Southern African countries completed
their training in December, including candidates from Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Participants began their training in September and will now take up positions at
key SAP partners and customer organizations to support their efforts in digital transformation.
Marita Mitschein, Managing Director of the SAP Institute for Training and Growth and Senior Vice President of
Digital Skills at SAP Southern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, who launched the initiative in 2012, said: “Africa’s young people are the leaders of
tomorrow, but they need enablement opportunities to drive the continent’s digital future and tap its enormous potential. Giving young talents the right
digital and future skills will create jobs and boost growth in Africa”.
In East Africa, West Africa and Northern Africa, additional applicants, hand-picked for
the SAP Young Professional Program, have recently begun their training across the continent.
The cohorts are part of the Deutsche
Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH collaboration.
The joint project aims to build 450 jobs over the course of three
years for highly skilled professionals in the IT sector in ten African countries.
More than 200 jobs have already been developed for formerly unemployed or underemployed young
talent through the SAP Young Professional Program since the launch of the cooperation in mid-2019.
The cooperation project forms part of the Special Training and Job Creation Initiative under the Invest for Jobs brand and
the develoPPP.de program implemented by GIZ on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ).
Mitschein adds: “Our digital skill build programs such as the SAP Young Professional Program were created on the foundation of a highly unique
collaborative effort, wherein we have always worked closely with SAP customers, partners, peers and other stakeholders such as universities and
government organisations to deliver our programs successfully and create a quadruple-win situation: local youth find a job, our SAP customers and
partners find brilliant talent, SAP enhances its ecosystem, and countries benefit as we support digital skills build and hereby help to prepare the economy
and society for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in an increasingly digital post-pandemic world.”