SAP and partners are equipping the future nation through Skills Development to Change the World for Good. Eugene Ho, Global Corporate Social Responsibility Director for Future Skills, reflects on the importance of youth skills development, and with it brings a brighter future and prosperity.

 As we approach World Youth Skills Day on July 15th, the strategic importance of equipping young people with the skills they need for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship is crucial. This year’s theme, Skilling Teachers, Trainers, and Youth for a Transformative Future, underscores the vital role played by educators in providing young people with the necessary skills to enter the labour market and actively engage in their communities.

Reflecting the hurdles that youth and businesses are grappling with, recent statistics from the International Labour Organization reveal concerning figures. For example, a quarter of the global youth population is not in education, employment, or training, and a staggering 935 million workers worldwide have jobs that do not match their educational level. Furthermore, employers are struggling to find workers with the necessary skill set for the job.

World Youth Skills Day serves as a reminder of the current challenges faced by youth globally and shines a spotlight on actionable steps to create better livelihoods and improve skills alignment for employers. As technological advancements and shifting market dynamics demand agile and adaptable skill sets, it is imperative to empower young people to navigate these changes effectively.

To add an additional layer to this, it is vital to highlight that corporations, businesses, and non-profit organizations also have a crucial role in building future skills and creating employment opportunities. In recognizing this, SAP partnered with UNICEF to launch the SAP Educate to Employ pilot program. During its first year in 2023, this program aims to equip more than 500,000 youths with the essential skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values required to drive employment, innovation, and entrepreneurship, ensuring equal opportunities for all.

Already initiated in the Philippines, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, Educate to Employ is built on the OECD Learning Framework 2030 which enables young people to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the demands of the present and future workforce.

Micro-credential programs form a vital component of the initiative, focusing on socio-emotional skills like emotional intelligence, problem-solving, and critical thinking. These programs are accessible to young individuals with a high school education, vocational training, or a university degree. The curriculum also encompasses employability skills, technology in the workplace, business foundation knowledge, SAP Foundational Knowledge, and SAP Skills certification.

Upon achieving their SAP certification, participants will have opportunities to secure various IT internship roles in departments such as consulting, development, analysis, and support within the SAP ecosystem. Recognizing that some ICT roles may face displacement in the next 3-5 years, the program emphasizes continuous learning and growth to ensure sustainable employment.

The SAP Educate to Employ program is committed to providing equitable education and job opportunities for underrepresented individuals, including minorities from diverse ethnic backgrounds, women, differently abled individuals, the underprivileged, and the disadvantaged.

By participating in programs like SAP Educate to Employ, businesses gain access to certified and diversified talent while uplifting their livelihoods. Additionally, they can help bridge the demand and supply gap for SAP skills and accelerate digital transformation within their respective countries through a digitally skilled workforce.

On World Youth Skills Day, it is crucial to acknowledge the immense potential of young people as catalysts for positive change. By making a firm commitment to equipping them with the essential skills, values, knowledge, and attitudes, we can work together to shape a brighter future, leaving no young person behind. After all, skills and education can help society overcome any difficult situation.