A total of 63 recent graduates were presented with SAP Certification at a graduation ceremony held at the University of Nairobi.
The fully-sponsored programme admitted the students in October this year and is aimed at bridging the demand for specialised ICT skills in Kenyan companies and increasing the youth employability.
The students are now ready to be engaged by potential employers especially those running SAP applications.
This is the second group of students to go through the programme after 52 participants were awarded certificates in November, 2013. Consequently, 80 per cent are already employed.
The new graduates will be matched with suitable internships with SAP customers and partners who are some of Kenya’s leading companies, as well as SAP’s leading East African partners. The programme is sponsored by Kenyan Ministry of Information Communications & Technology – through the ICT Authority – and SAP.
The event was presided over by Principal Secretary, Ministry of ICT Mr Joseph Tiampati and SAP East Africa Managing Director Andrew Waititu.
Others present were ICT Authority, Acting head of Innovation, Capacity and Partnerships, Ms Eunice Kariuki.
“Kenya needs to develop the capability to train and test for specialised skills on a larger scale. That way we will achieve our vision of becoming the ICT leader in Africa.
As the government, we cannot do it alone. We need partners from the academia and the private sector to commit not only to training students but by also increasing the number of Kenyan trainers of high-end skills in ICT.
SAP Skills for Africa programme is an excellent start. But I want to challenge the young people who are graduating today to also consider becoming trainers for future young graduates,” said the Mr Tiampati.
The 63 were awarded after going through an 8-week long intensive SAP module training by expert trainers held at Technobrain. The training was followed by certification exams in Business Intelligence (BI) and Financial Accounting (FI) . A total of 65 young graduates embarked on the training in October after they were selected in a competitive process that saw more than 1000 applications received from across the country. The candidates, who are all recent graduates, scored upper second class honour and were trained also equipped with critical soft business skills.
“Preparing for the 2020 workforce is critical to SAP business strategy, growth, and performance. To understand the challenges and opportunities we carried out a survey together with Oxford Economics in which we surveyed over 2,700 executives and employees in 27 countries during the second quarter of 2014. Based on survey responses, we found that the key determiners of today’s workforce are that there will be a globalization of labour supply with employees and employers looking beyond borders, and a shift from permanent and pensionable staff to consultants and emphasis on leadership which many feel is lacking in today’s workplace,” said Andrew Waititu, Managing Director SAP East Africa.
He also said, “as the new millennium enters the workforce (those born after 2000), there is a need for us to take the above findings into account. This workforce want instant feedback and to make a difference. SAP is taking the lead into these insights by offering much needed soft and technical skills.”
The Skills for Africa programme idea was conceived in Kenya by ICT Authority and SAP East Africa and was officially launched in September 2012. Bright students from disadvantage backgrounds and women are considered for the training.
The programme targets to train 100 students yearly up to 2015.