By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb Senior News Journalist

The SAP Young Professionals Programme says it has provided ICT training and created jobopportunities for 1 730 young African job-seekers, with over 510 of them being from South Africa.

Since its inception in late 2012, the programme has created more than 3 730 employment opportunities for job-seekers across 39 countries worldwide. They have been placed within the software giant’s ecosystem of public and private sector partners and customers.

The SAP Young Professionals Programme, offered under the Skills for Africa initiative, aims to close the digital skills gap by offering a wide range of skills, including SAP software functional and technical knowledge, and certification with a focus on SAP’s latest tools.

According to SAP, the programme empowers youth to succeed in the African digital economy and covers certificate courses in several SAP software-focused modules.

Participants graduate from the two- to three-month programme as SAP associate consultants, with a mix of technical and soft skills that can be immediately absorbed by the local economy.

Cathy Smith, MD of SAP Africa, highlights the importance of work-ready digital skills to drive local economic growth.

“Closing the digital skills gap is essential to SA’s digital transformation ambitions. The SAP Young Professionals Programme underpins SAP’s vision to make the world run better and improve people’s lives by supporting our local customers and partners with work-ready digital skills, while also helping address youth unemployment,” she notes.

As the country’s public and private sectors grapple with the economic impact of the pandemic and the urgent need for greater technology adoption, having access to work-ready soft and technical skills is essential, says SAP.

There remains a significant digital skills gap in SA, as organisations battle to fill tens of thousands of vacancies in the ICT sector, according to the 2021 ICT Skills Survey.

In 2021 alone, hundreds of participants from Senegal, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Egypt, Angola and Mozambique graduated from the programme.

The latest group of graduates, hailing from Nigeria, graduated via a virtual ceremony earlier this month.

The next cohort will officially start their training in November.

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