SAP, in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), has activated its Educate to Employ (E2E) pilot initiative in South Africa.
E2E, a public-private partnership, aims to equip the youth in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa with skills to help them get jobs. It is a part Unicef's Generation Unlimited (GenU), intitiative, which SAp has supported since 2019.
For the South African E2E chapter, the multinational enterprise software firm has partnered with Umuzi, a youth-focused training services provider. The aim is to educate learners aged 16 – 24 on soft skills, foundational knowledge, and SAP skills using the student zone on the SAP Learning site.
At the launch event of the E2E African chapter, Kholiwe Makhohliso, SAP Southern Africa MD, underscored the concerning unemployment rates in South Africa. Among individuals aged 15 – 24, the rate reasched over 60% in the second quarter of this year, while the rate for those aged 25 – 34 was close to 40%.
To address this challenge, E2E organisers stressed the need to follow up training with direct access to job opportunities.
The first 100 participants have been selected from a pool of 18 000 applicants from across the continent. These learners will undergo remote training for six to twelve months, aiming to join the SAP network as young professionals once they finish the course.
Alexandra van der Ploeg, SAP’s global head of corporate social responsibility, said the primary goal of E2E is to place learners within the SAP ecosystem, be it at SAP itself or at its partners.
She added that other SAP-led skills programmes within the country have seen success, with 95% of applicants eventually finding employment.
The organisers acknowledged that skilled learners are often head-hunted by international companies and, after training, are attracted to opportunities abroad. They aim to strike a balance between keeping talent in the country and giving newly trained individuals exposure to global markets.
E2E builds upon SAP's other youth skills development and employment programmes across Africa, such as Africa Code Week and the SAP Young Professional Program.
The plan is to expand the E2E initiative to other countries in Africa next year.