Developing SAP Skills in Singapore by Paul Hawking
Governments around the world are realising the impact of the SAP skills shortage is having on businesses and in turn the overall economy. The Australian Government is giving priority to immigrants with SAP skills and the Malaysian Government is sponsoring universities to join the SAP University Alliance Program (UAP) in an attempt to address this shortage. At the same time governments are supporting the establishment of SAP research laboratories in their countries (recently China and Singapore) to take advantage of future opportunities.
The Singapore Government has sponsored an innovative programme to directly address the skill shortage in their country. They are sponsoring students to undertake SAP related education and then providing the opportunity for students to apply their SAP knowledge through a paid internship. The majority of the costs associated with the education and internship are being paid for by the government.
There are three different programs that will be offered based on different industry needs. Each program consists of 6 subjects which are offered by Victoria University in conjunction with their Singapore partner, Lithan Hall. The first program will focus on ERP systems and will include subjects related to ERP Systems, Business Process Engineering, ERP Systems implementation, Sales and Distribution, Materials Management, and Human Resources. Each subject contains 36 hours of content and includes a significant “hands on” component. Following the completion of the 6 subjects, students will then be employed in a 6 month paid internship on a SAP project.
This is a unique opportunity for Singaporean students and an opportunity for the Singapore Government to get SAP skills in the market place quickly. For some of the students it is an opportunity to retrain for a new career direction. Similar programs are being developed which focus on Supply Chain Management and Business Intelligence using SAP solutions. In total there are more than 260 students who will participate in these programs.
This is not the first time such a program has been conducted. In 2010, the government sponsored 60 students to participate in the ERP focused program. The success of this program has seen an expansion of the initiative in 2012.
As governments better understand the impact of the SAP skills shortage is having on their economies we will see a range or initiatives developed to address these shortages.