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Youth and jobs focus of SAP's latest investments in New Zealand

Posted on 16-Sep-2014 19:58 | Filed under: News

By directly supporting one of New Zealand’s most esteemed youth-oriented not-for-profits, SAP New Zealand aims to address challenges around youth unemployment and further bolster interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among young people. The global leader in enterprise software today announced its intent to invest NZD $50,000 annually in Foundation for Youth Development (FYD).

FYD aims to inspire all school-age New Zealand children to reach their full potential through programmes that help build self-esteem, promote good values and which teach valuable life, education and health skills. SAP will focus its investment in FYD’s Career Navigator, a work-readiness programme designed to support secondary school students in their decision-making around future employment.

According to Statistics New Zealand, New Zealanders between the ages of 15 and 24 account for more than one-third of total unemployment, with increasing tendency. At the same time, New Zealand’s demand for STEM skills continues to grow. For example, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, systems design has increased 60% faster than the industry average. As in the other communities in which the company operates, SAP focuses on reconciling this gap by making early connections between youth and industry, helping to guide and inspire tomorrow’s talent toward meaningful education and rewarding employment.

“On the whole, employment is strong in New Zealand, but we need to pay very close attention to our youth to ensure the next generation of New Zealanders have the same level of employment opportunity as the current workforce,” said Marion Short, CEO, Foundation for Youth Development. “With support from organisations like SAP, we are exposing more young students more frequently to the array of industries and professions New Zealand has to offer, thereby helping them make more informed decisions about their further education and employment goals.”

“SAP works with hundreds of thousands of customers across the globe,” said Graeme Riley, Managing Director for SAP New Zealand. “We see the need that these organisations have for STEM and ICT skills on a daily basis. In partnership with Foundation for Youth Development, we hope to inform more of New Zealand’s future talent about the opportunities in these fields and secure a stronger outlook for them as individuals and a better outlook for New Zealand’s job market collectively.”

Through the partnership, SAP and FYD will also explore opportunities to apply technology to support the not-for-profit’s operations and help its team deliver better outcomes for its beneficiaries and stakeholders.

The announcement was made at the opening of SAP’s new offices in Wellington, officiated by New Zealand Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Bill English.

SAP’s new offices represent an incremental investment of NZD 10 million over five years to accommodate new staff and a growing business. The company intends to grow its New Zealand employee base by 19, more than 20%, by 2017. SAP New Zealand grew significantly in 2013, posting a strong increase in sales of 31% across its traditional business, as well its cloud, mobile and big data portfolio.

Further investing in New Zealand’s future talent, SAP New Zealand for the first time participated in the SAP Academy for Sales, a fast-paced nine-month rotational program to empower young professionals with effective selling and negotiation techniques. In addition to hands-on training, networking opportunities and mentoring from top SAP executives and sales leaders, university graduates have headed to SAP’s state-of-the-art learning facility in California for innovative classroom training.