Bridging the Tech Skills Gap in South Africa
South African organizations are celebrating the graduation of the latest cohort of candidates for the SAP Young Professionals Program, which promises to bring a much-needed boost in digital transformation and cloud skills.
Tracy Bolton, Chief Operating Officer at SAP Africa, believes these graduates will play a crucial role in supporting local organizations’ digital transformation efforts.
Closing the Gap: Equipping South Africa’s Youth with Tech Skills
South Africa’s potential for growth is hindered by a staggering youth unemployment rate of over 60%. As the country commemorates Youth Month in June, both public and private sector initiatives are underway to equip the youth with the necessary tech and soft skills.
One such effort is the SAP Young Professionals Program, an initiative offered by the Digital Skills Center of SAP in the EMEA South region. Its aim is to enable young talent to leverage the latest SAP technology and innovation to drive digital transformation.
The program’s recent expansion to include virtual participation has opened doors for talented candidates from a wider range of countries.
Addressing the Skills Shortage: An Urgent Need for Tech Expertise
Research conducted by SAP Africa revealed that nearly 78% of South African organizations have experienced the impact of a tech skills shortage, leading to a lack of innovation.
In fact, 70% of respondents identified digital transformation as a skill in high demand within their organizations.
Empowering Graduates: A Pathway to Success
The graduates of the SAP Young Professionals Program have completed certificate courses in SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud implementation and SAP Business Process Integration.
However, the program goes beyond technical knowledge, placing a strong emphasis on the development of essential soft skills. From design thinking and business model innovation to creative thinking, interpersonal skills, and interview skills, the program ensures graduates are well-rounded professionals.
Testimonials: Transforming Lives and Building Confidence
Graduates from the latest cohort, such as Makwena Oltavia Moeti, share their transformative experiences and express gratitude for the program’s impact on their lives.
The SAP Young Professionals Program has equipped them with enhanced confidence and paved the way for promising career opportunities.
Closing the Gap: The SAP Dual Study Program
In addition to the SAP Young Professionals Program, SAP collaborates with top universities in South Africa, including the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, Nelson Mandela University, and the University of Pretoria, through the SAP Dual Study Program.
This collaboration provides students with the opportunity to receive major-specific SAP training and certification during their academic years.
The program acts as a bridge between studies and the workplace, facilitating job placement within the SAP ecosystem.
Unlocking Africa’s Potential: Driving Digital Transformation Forward
Tracy Bolton highlights Africa’s untapped potential for digital transformation and its role in the continent’s economic growth.
With Africa’s youthful population and a projected population boom in the coming decades, the region is uniquely positioned to supply the tech skills necessary to drive the global economy forward.
Looking Ahead: Expanding Opportunities for Tech Talent
The SAP Young Professionals Program continues to create new opportunities for aspiring tech professionals. A new cohort from Southern Africa, including Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa, is set to commence training in July.
As South Africa strives to close the tech skills gap, initiatives like these hold the promise of a brighter future for the country’s youth.