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Industry participation key for skills

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SAP South Africa will sponsor 20 teams participating in the 2008 First Lego League – a recently-launched local initiative that aims to provide and equip learners from different schools and backgrounds with mathematics and science skills by instilling a culture of learning by doing.

The First Lego League program is a result of an exciting alliance between First and the Lego Company. FLL is an international programme for children aged 9-16, which provides a hands-on, interactive robotics program and a research presentation with a sports-like atmosphere.
'At SAP we believe that FLL provides the industry with a good platform to introduce the younger generation to IT and create awareness and interest that will benefit the industry later on and therefore curb the current problem of shortages in skills," says Sunil Geness, corporate affairs executive at SAP Africa.
"We are excited to be part of such an initiative, and we are putting down a corporate challenge to other companies and industry bodies to support the initiative.
'We also believe that it is the duty of the industry players to identify -and even develop – and participate in initiatives such as these to address the skills gaps that exist early on. To this end we are encouraging other corporates to support this fantastic initiative."
SAP has been sponsoring teams that participate in the competition for the last two years.  The SAP NXTreme team won the local championship last year and was sponsored by SAP to attend the World Festival Tournament at Atlanta earlier this year. The team received an honourary Team Spirit award.