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Bridging the Workforce Readiness and Skills Gap in PH


SAP has recently committed to its continuing partnership with UNICEF in support of Generation Unlimited (GenU) for an additional three years to help prepare young individuals for the workforce.

In recent years, there has been a decrease in the proportion of young people in employment. Despite the increase in the population of people ages 14 and 24, growing by over 30 percent to 1.2 billion in just two decades, their participation in the labor market declined by 12 percent. According to a recent report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), this number is expected to decline with time.

Apart from this reality, a recent report by GenU, PwC, and UNICEF noted that young people worldwide find it difficult to join the labor force because they cannot identify or acquire the skills needed for today’s job market. This contributes to a global skills gap and exacerbates youth unemployment. Less than a quarter of youth in lower-income countries are also estimated to be on track to attain the necessary skills to thrive in school, work, and life.

In a recent statement, Kevin Frey, Chief Executive Officer of GenU said, “today’s young people are three times more likely than adults to be unemployed, which makes for a very uncertain future for all of us. To keep up with the ever-changing demands of the labor market, young people need a full set of skills to compete locally and globally. I am delighted that SAP and GenU are continuing our long-standing partnership. Together we will support even more young people worldwide to unlock opportunities.”

Helping upskill the next generation of leaders
Leveraging GenU’s signature program Youth Agency Marketplace (YOMA), the partners will pilot a new program that supports ‘learning to earning’ pathways in the digital green economy for marginalized youths, helping them acquire new skills to flourish.

Among many countries across the globe, the Philippines is the only country selected for the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), along with Nigeria and South Africa. This new program, to be piloted in early 2023, aims to provide more than 500,000 young people with foundational and digital skills acquisition opportunities by the end of the first year to transform their life trajectories.

The partnership will also support SAP’s “educate to employ” initiative, which aims to educate youth on soft skills and foundational knowledge. This initiative includes honing SAP skills using the student zone on the SAP Learning site, where students can learn about the latest SAP solutions for free via this site, which would help them gain the knowledge they can usethat can help to kickstart their careers.

SAP and UNICEF first joined forces in support of GenU in 2019 and have since reached three million young people in India, Turkey, and Vietnam with transformative education models.

“Education is one of the key priorities in the Philippines, especially regarding Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). With the plans laid by the current administration, especially as it strengthens its government digital transformation initiatives, we believe that upskilling talents, particularly their digital skills, is likewise integral. In collaboration with UNICEF and GenU, this new program adds to SAP’s projects and initiatives, geared toward helping upskill Filipino talents, particularly among the youths,” said Rudy Abrahams, Managing Director, SAP Philippines.

Expanding digital skills initiative
Aside from its partnership with UNICEF, SAP pledged to help upskill 2 million people worldwide by 2025 to strengthen its commitment to creating opportunities through learning and development. In support of this, SAP recently launched its expanded digital skills initiative to provide easier access to essential learning resources to underrepresented and underserved groups in technology, as well as its collaboration with Coursera, a global online learning platform with more than 110 million learners worldwide.

Together, on the Coursera platform, SAP offers an online, seven-course SAP Technology Consultant Professional Certificate, where participants can learn more about SAP, the role of a technology consultant, and the value SAP professionals bring to customers. This offering provides focused, role-based entry-level learning resources for everyone and is available exclusively on Coursera.

SAP’s other initiatives in the Philippines include the SAP University Alliances program. This initiative enables faculty and teachers worldwide to educate next-generation talents with SAP skills. University Alliances members can access SAP software and learning content, learn best practices for integrating program resources into teaching, and be inspired to partner with the SAP ecosystem of customers and partners.

About 23 member universities in the Philippines are under the SAP University Alliances program. This initiative continuously aims to empower Filipino educators to equip better the next generation of talents with the latest SAP technologies and relevant skills.

Meanwhile, SAP has also been collaborating with ASEAN Foundation to equip youths with data analytics skills to create solutions for the ASEAN region’s pressing social issues through the ASEAN Data Science Explorers (ADSE) competition.

The Philippines is one of the active participating countries in this program. It complements the country’s current programs geared towards upskilling young Filipinos and empowering ASEAN youths with essential digital skills, collaboration skills, and the ability to communicate ideas and think critically.

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