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Partner on youth tech-training, SAP urges Saudi public, private sectors

Millennial graduates with ICT skillsets vital to kingdom’s economic growth, company says

Partner on youth tech-training, SAP urges Saudi public, private sectors
Al Faifi: Many of the kingdom’s organisations see millennials as the ‘silver bullet’ for solving their corporate skills gap.

Saudi Arabia's education, public, and private sectors must join together on fostering technology skills among the kingdom's youth, according to German enterprise-software giant SAP.

Government initiatives are having a significant impact in supporting the Saudi government's goal of providing 1.1m job opportunities for its nationals, SAP said. In addition, the government is supporting women in the workforce, and expanding educational and training opportunities throughout the country, according to a G20 report.

"Technology has the potential to impact every aspect of the kingdom's labour markets, including better matching of jobs across all sectors, facilitating up-skilling, empowering entrepreneurs, and providing actionable data to decision-makers," SAP said in a statement, citing a report on which it collaborated with INSEAD Business School and the Center for Economic Growth.

"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 organisations have better access to finding and developing these talented young people," said Ahmed Al Faifi, managing director, SAP Saudi Arabia.

The incoming generation of so-called "millennial" workers, aged 18 to 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. SAP cited big data in particular, as the most-needed skill. Some 56% of KSA organisations have difficulty recruiting employees with base-level skills, according to the Oxford Economics report.

"With many students entering their senior year of university, many of the kingdom's organisations see millennials as the ‘silver bullet' for solving their corporate skills gap," Al Faifi said. "But unless students are trained properly, then the country's sustainable economic growth will suffer."

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