In a country where jobs outnumber skilled candidates – particularly in the ICT sector – developing “work-ready” skills has become a competitive advantage for those companies that are prepared to put in the time and effort to grow individuals with aptitude and a willingness to get into the industry. SAP, in partnership with its partners in the industry, is one of these companies.
The SAP Skills for Africa initiative, which uses a hybrid approach of classroom and e-learning training, with hands-on simulated exercises, has proven its success in developing world-class IT skills and growing the ICT workforce. This three month programme effectively links skills development to job creation, with guaranteed internships for participants in the companies of SAP partners.
EOH is one of these, and is, in fact, the biggest participant in the SAP Skills for Africa programme. Supporting and upskilling the largest number of candidates in the initiative, EOH SAP Services is offering a nine month internship to graduates of the programme as well as employment in its ranks or within partner companies.
SAP Skills for Africa has achieved previous success in Kenya, Morocco and South Africa, where it has been orchestrated for three years. This latest instalment of the local programme represents the biggest graduate intake to date.
The training comprises seven classes and seven modules, including SAP S/4HANA, as well as industry-specific HANA training.
“The programme is a first in providing South African graduates with skills badly needed by the local market – and thus moving away from a past when those skills needed to be imported. This in turn breaks the chain of poverty by upskilling previously disadvantaged students and opening up a world of opportunities for them to succeed, both here and abroad,” says Lawrence Kandaswami, MD of SAP SA.
Not only is EOH SAP Services the largest participant and partner in the SAP Skills for Africa programme, supporting the greatest number of learners of the final 109 selected, the company has taken its capability – and responsibility – to grow the country’s skills base to the next level. EOH’s SAP has launched the SAP Academy, which offers an in-depth and comprehensive SAP-focused curriculum, providing the expertise and support to develop SAP consultants and software specialists.
“Much has been said of the skills shortage in South Africa, particularly in the ICT sector. However, the situation is not nearly as dire as the statistics would suggest: There’s a shortage of work-ready skills rather than a shortage of positions that need to be filled. Creating work-ready skills is achievable through learnerships and internships, and is one of the main reasons we introduced the EOH SAP Academy,” says Ebrahim Laher, MD of EOH SAP.
In fact, the EOH SAP Academy is an illustration of the broader ethos of the company, which has put youth development and job creation at the core of its business strategy. The EOH Youth Job Creation initiative has challenged South African businesses to bring in an additional 3% of their total staff complement in learners and interns. EOH SAP Services, has not only risen to the challenge, it is actively bringing more youth into the workforce through the academy.
“SAP Skills for Africa is a valuable addition to the training programmes available to youth wanting to get into ICT, and we are proud to have extended this through the creation of the EOH SAP Academy. The learners currently going through the programme are the first of what promises to be hundreds of young people entering a new career in the years to come.”
He adds that as the largest SAP partner in Africa, EOH SAP Services is perfectly positioned to grow the whole continent’s skills base in the future. “Our longstanding partnership with SAP, and our continued participation in SAP Skills for Africa, have laid an effective foundation for developing a base of world-class African skills that can serve the growing IT markets across the continent. We are looking forward to welcoming the first EOH SAP Academy graduates into the workforce, and watching their careers progress.”