The City of Cape Town today, 27 June 2016, kicked off a partnership with SAP Africa to provide training in scarce skills in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector. Today marked the start of the orientation programme for the first group of Western Cape Skills for Africa students.
A group of 44 Western Cape Skills for Africa students were selected from more than 350 applicants after a review and rigorous interview process. They will now undergo an intense 12-week training programme that will include MIT Scratch, a software coding programme. Down the line, the City will offer employment to 15 graduates with this highly sought-after technical qualification.
‘We committed to promoting economic growth and to creating a city of opportunity, especially for our youth. The intense training in MIT Scratch will help this group of young people to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — all of which are essential skills for life in the 21st century,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services and Compliance, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.
In addition to the training in this specific software methodology, the students will be able to act as trainers for Africa Code Week, which is the largest literacy coding event on the African continent. Launched last year with over 89 000 youngsters across 17 African countries who were trained in coding, this year’s series of events will see more than 150 000 youth across 30 African countries being targeted.
‘We are excited to be a partner in this SAP skills development initiative. The days of us training narrowly and just for our immediate needs are fast fading. We need closer collaboration and more such partnerships to train our young generation for our city, our country at large and now even for the rest of our continent. It is more about creating economic opportunities for our young people beyond the boundaries of our cities. This is the legacy that we as current leaders need to leave behind, or we would have failed our future generation,’ said Councillor Limberg.
The City of Cape Town has been a SAP partner since 2003. Over the years the City has been internationally recognised for its visionary use of this technology in delivering basic services, connecting residents, and developing smart solutions for effective project and programme management. Today, the City’s SAP system is considered to be one of the largest and most successful ERP systems on a global scale implemented in a local government.
‘The City is committed to collaborating with private sector partners as we continue to build on this legacy by empowering our youth with scarce technical skills. As such, I am incredibly proud to be here today and firmly believe that the only way we can make progress possible is to work closely together to move our city and our country from good to great in terms of creating economic opportunities for our young people. The biggest benefit of this training is that it caters for a business need that makes the graduates immediately employable,’ added Councillor Limberg.
The SAP Skills for Africa programme is an intense ICT and business skills course and this first Cape Town chapter will take place from the end of June to September. In response to specific requests from the SAP customers involved, for the first time the students will be introduced to the SAP Industry Solutions: Retail and Utilities as part of their training. The SAP Skills for Africa course also incorporates essential business and soft skills training that will see the graduates armed with a formal SAP Academy accreditation that is an internationally recognised associate SAP consultant certification. The programme is fully sponsored, with no cost to the students.
‘Many education and skills development initiatives have been introduced across Africa over the years, but it is key to link skills development to job creation through internships, resulting in jobs for these talented individuals. In a developing economy such as ours, a digital education isn’t accessible for all. What we see is a cavernous gap between the education that young people are receiving and what the employment market needs. Critical to the success of the SAP Skills for Africa programme is collaboration and we are delighted to be partnering with the City of Cape Town and Western Cape business through this exciting initiative,’ said the Managing Director: SAP South Africa, Lawrence Kandaswami.