WALLDORF, Germany, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Academy Cube initiative today announced that the e-learning platform set up to overcome science and technology skills shortages and fight youth unemployment is generally available for students, graduates and professionals in Spain and Portugal. Founding partner SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) also announced it is investing EUR 3 million in the launch of Academy Cube in 2013.
"Growing youth unemployment is a topic of great concern and a problem we need to fix – not just as politicians but as business leaders," said Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEO and member of the Executive Board of SAP AG. "New technologies provide huge opportunities for innovation and new jobs, assuming we can empower people with the required skills. With Academy Cube, we are on our way to addressing the existing discrepancy between skills the industry is looking for and job-seeking youth – and laying the foundation for a strong, vital, and innovative Europe for the 21st century."
Academy Cube is supported by nearly 30 IT and manufacturing industry leaders, European academic institutions and public agencies that share the goal of equipping 100,000 young talents with the business skills employers are looking for. Based on technology from the SAP® Cloud portfolio, the e-learning platform brings students together with matching job opportunities from partner companies and gives them advanced training to meet specific skills and job demands.
After a successful pilot phase with 32 students, the initial focus of the Academy Cube initiative is on training and facilitating job placement for young people in Southern European countries, where youth unemployment reaches more than 50 percent in some regions. The initiative expects to enlist more than 250 students by the end of the year in e-learning course work focused on the increasing digitalization of manufacturing processes, including 1) big data, 2) data management and business analytics and 3) enterprise resource planning (ERP), logistics and production optimization. The curricula will be updated and adapted based on student and industry needs.
In a next step, Academy Cube intends to expand into other European countries. A pilot in Greece has just begun with 10 initial participants; before the end of the year, additional pilots are planned in Ireland, Italy and France.
Since the program's launch in March 2013 the number of Academy Cube partners has nearly doubled. AHK Portugal, AHK Spanien, Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Madrid, Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Lisboa, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, iSQI, Learntesting, SAP TalentNet, TICE Portugal, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Universidade do Minho, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia and ZVEI have signed on to support the initiative. They join SAP, Robert Bosch GmbH, Festo Didactic GmbH & Co.KG, LinkedIn, Microsoft Deutschland GmbH, Software AG, the Federal German Employment Agency, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), EIT ICT Labs, the German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM e.V.), Gesellschaft fur Informatik e.V. (GI) and the University of Duisburg-Essen.
"Academy Cube is an innovative program for 'Universitat Politecnica de Valencia' students to boost their university education with IT skills that world-class companies such as SAP require to hire young professionals," said Universitat Politecnica de Valencia Rector, Francisco Jose Mora Mas. "Moreover, it opens a window of opportunity for our young talents to access jobs with great potential for their professional career, a critical issue for us in these tough times."
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