Public-Private Partnerships Needed to Boost Employment for Saudi Youth

Training Millennials in Technology Skills Supports Sustainable Economic Growth

RIYADH, Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaThe Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s education, public, and private sectors must partner on developing technology skills to help boost youth employment, announced SAP, one of the world’s leading technology companies.

Government initiatives are having a major impact in supporting the Kingdom’s workforce of the future, with the goal of providing 1.1 million job opportunities for Saudis. In addition, the government is supporting women in the workforce, and expanding educational and training opportunities throughout the country, according to a report by the Group of Twenty for international economic cooperation.

Technology has the potential to impact every aspect of the Kingdom’s labor markets, including better matching of jobs across all sectors, facilitating up-skilling, empowering entrepreneurs, and providing actionable data to decision-makers, according to the recent report “Technology-Driven Transformation of Labor Markets in MENA,” by INSEAD Business School, the Center for Economic Growth, and SAP.

“Public, private, and educational sectors must join forces to ensure young people, particularly university students and graduates, are trained in the right skills, and that organizations have better access to finding and developing these talented young people,” said Ahmed Al Faifi, Managing Director, SAP Saudi Arabia.

The incoming generation of Millennial workers, aged 18-35, will need to adopt the latest skills, especially in Big Data analytics, cloud, mobile, and social media, according to the “Workforce 2020” report by Oxford Economics and SAP. In particular, Big Data analytics will be the most-needed skill, growing from 11 percent of organizations in 2014 to 60 percent by 2017, according to the survey.

“With many students entering their senior year of university, many of the Kingdom’s organizations see Millennials as the ‘silver bullet’ for solving their corporate skills gap. But unless students are trained properly, then the country’s sustainable economic growth will suffer,” added Ahmed Al Faifi.

Demonstrating the importance of technology skills, 56 percent of organizations in the Kingdom have difficulty recruiting employees with base-level skills, while less than one third of employees expecting to become proficient in technology skills by 2017, according to “Workforce 2020”.

Meeting the demands for training the next generation of workers in the Kingdom is the SAP Middle East and North Africa’s Training and Development Institute, which has conducted more than 300,000 student training days since 2013 to support university students, recent graduates, and unemployed workers in technology skills. The majority of its graduates have entered the SAP partner ecosystem.

In the Kingdom, the Institute partners with 33 educational institutions, with more than 5,000 students and 176 instructors learning about SAP solutions. Since its launch in 2013, the Institute has delivered USD 24 million of in-country value in skills and knowledge in the Kingdom.

In particular, the SAP Young Professional Program, which trains unemployed recent university graduates, has seen 95 percent of its 252 graduates land successful careers.

The SAP Dual Study program, which incorporates SAP technology theory and practice in curriculums, will soon be offered by three universities. SAP has seen strong feedback on the Co-Innovation program, and has delivered Arabized solutions and apps for the Kingdom’s industry sectors.

Demonstrating best practices in managing and developing talent and corporate culture, SAP Saudi Arabia was recognized recently as one of the Kingdom’s first “Top Employers” for 2015, surpassing global standards set by the independent international organization the Top Employers Institute.

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 258,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com

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Media contacts
Husain Al Tamimi, SAP +971 56 6811641, husain.tamimi@sap.com
Claire McPeak, SAP, +971 4 330 1777, c.mcpeak@sap.com
Steve Baron, Wallis Marketing Consultants, +971 4 390 1950, sap@wallis-mc.com