SAP recognized twenty-six outstanding Nigerian candidates who successfully completed a three-month intensive digital training and certification program today. The SAP Young Professional Program is organised by SAP in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and hosted by Deloitte. The graduation ceremony was held in Lagos and was attended by Mr Hakeem Fahm, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, who represented Lagos State Government.
During his address, Mr Fahm said:
“True transformation is only possible when there is a shift in mindset from the ordinary to the outstanding as exhibited by SAP with its efforts at putting an end to digital skills shortage which affects the growth and innovation potential of even the most successful global organisations. Around this time last year, we were all gathered here to celebrate the first crop of graduates of this program, who have since then supported organisations to thrive in the Digital Era thanks to the knowledge and skills acquired from the program. The intensity at which the SAP work-ready digital skills agenda is impacting lives is a testament to the fact that with proper grooming, African youth can indeed play active roles in the much-anticipated digital skills and technologies -dominated future economy.”
Great urgency to upskill Africa’s youth
The SAP Young Professional Program, an initiative offered under the umbrella of SAP Skills for Africa, has since its launch in 2012 trained and graduated more than 990 youths across Africa and more than 2550 talents globally. According to Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa, there is great urgency in equipping more African youth with digital skills, as more than 40 million high-skilled workers will be needed globally by 2020. “Considering that youth account for 60% of Africa’s unemployed, and that the continent has the largest and fastest-growing youth population in the world, it is imperative that we equip our young talent with the skills they need to be active participants in the global economy,” said Smith.
“The overwhelming response, so far, has further fuelled our organisation’s commitment to continue training programs that will help empower the local communities by closing the digital skills gap; providing businesses with the right support system; and powering economic expansion,” said Smith. “We thank our customers and partners including Deloitte, Eta-Zuma Group, Oryx Systems Limited, SHELL Nigeria and WYZE Consulting, that hired our recent program graduates of the SAP Young Professional Program in Nigeria and hereby join our efforts to enable today’s youth for the Digital Era.”
Career kick-start for young professionals
Graduates that form part of the Young Professional Program undergo a rigorous selection process before embarking on the three-month full-time training program where they are equipped with SAP and soft skills needed to succeed in the modern workplace.
This makes every graduate of the program immediately employable in a range of public and private sector companies. Through SAP’s close partnership with its customers and industry partners, over 99% of all program graduates secure work placement upon graduation.One of the graduates from the inaugural program in 2018, who is now employed at WYZE Consulting as SAP Presales and Delivery Consultant, Adedoyin Akande, said: “Definitely, the Young Professional Program was the major start of my career and the training equipped me with so much competence to help me kickstart my career.”
This cohort of the SAP Young Professional Program in Nigeria is part of a recently announced collaboration between SAP and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with the aim to jointly create 450 jobs for highly qualified personnel in the IT sector in ten African countries over the course of three years. The cooperation project is part of the special initiative „Training and Job Creation“ and the develoPPP for jobs program that the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The new academic partnership promises work-ready innovators
The SAP Young Professional Program is one of two programs under the umbrella of SAP Skills for Africa; the other being the SAP Dual Study Program, designed to provide university students with training and certifications linked to SAP’s latest innovations that align to the company’s Intelligent Enterprise model. Building on its previous efforts on digital skills build and youth enablement in Nigeria and beyond, SAP recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Covenant University in Nigeria for the Dual Study Program, extending the program’s reach to 24 universities across 13 countries globally. Marita Mitschein, Senior Vice President of Digital Skills Southern Europe, Middle East & Africa at SAP and Managing Director of the SAP Training and Development Institute, said: “In partnership with leading universities, the 6-12 months program combines university theoretical studies with the opportunity for students to take SAP certification during academic years under the collaborative curriculum. This helps bridge the gap between university and workplace by giving students a competitive edge. With a pervasive digital skills shortage affecting the growth and innovation potential of even the most successful global organizations, both the SAP Young Professional Program, as well as the SAP Dual Study Program, provide organizations with ready-to-employ tech talent with scarce digital skills on market-leading SAP technologies.”
Dr. Ada, Assistant Professor, and Director International Officer and Linkages at Covenant University, said:
“The Dual Study Program is a great opportunity for our students to build the right skillset required by the labor market before they graduate, which allows them to kickstart their career immediately after graduation. By joining hands with the market leader in enterprise application software we can empower our young people who will shape the future of our country and our continent.”