NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 20 – Kenyan graduates studying Information Technology will now be able to undergo free high level SAP certification training thanks to a three year partnership between the Kenya ICT Board and leading enterprise application software provider SAP.
The training program dubbed “SAP Skills for Africa” is aimed at improving the employability of university graduates.
The program will begin in January with the enrolment of 100 students who can start applying in October and Kenya ICT Board Program Manager for Business Process Outsourcing Andrew Lewela revealed that they will be in charge of the overall management of the programme and will provide classrooms with necessary computer infrastructure.
“IT spending will grow about 17 percent year on year, however IT employment will be less than 10 percent and this appears to be widening,” he said.
“The plan is to create what we call an authentic examination to test for certified software developers. Many institutions have been focusing on the theoretical side of things and forgetting the actual testing of how to test software and make it secure,” he explained.
According to the Julisha Report, a national ICT Market survey taken in 2011 by the Kenya ICT Board, an estimated 9,600 professionals are added to the ICT market each year, but a third of the company’s surveyed plan to contract external providers because the present supply of skills do not meet business requirements in various ways, including the currency of the courses taught as well as the need for business specific training.
The Julisha report reveals that the ICT sector directly employs an estimated 27,000 professionals and that software development (70 percent growth) and project management (57 percent growth) are the most in-demand skills for the 2011-2013 periods and represent the areas with the widest skills gap.
The report went on to say that there is little visibility on the demand for specific skills, suggesting that greater and closer collaboration is needed between education institutions and businesses to determine the exact mix of skills needed in the market.
To address this issue, SAP Africa CEO Pfungwa Serima said that they will provide instructors, training material and educational systems and that they aim to train at least 500 students for free and get them employed within the next three years.
“The SAP Skill for Africa programme aims at ensuring that each and every university graduate is equipped with the skills necessary to enter the job market and not only gain economic stability and prosperity, but also to be able to plough back into the ecosystem,” he said.
“SAP training will deliver valuable skills on software use, best business practices and processes that will greatly benefit the trainees and their future employers,” he explained.