SAP to fund Irish students interested in STEM sector through college

German software giant will pay 5-10 students €22,000 per year for duration of their degree

Liam Ryan: students from Ireland would have no obligation to work for SAP after they graduated

Liam Ryan: students from Ireland would have no obligation to work for SAP after they graduated

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Software firm SAP is looking to fund between

five and 10 students here through third-level education, as part of an expansion of its Germany-based vocational training programme.

The German multinational, which employs 1,650 people in Ireland, will pay the students €22,000 a year for the duration of their studies and will rotate their studies between the German university and offices in Germany, Ireland and elsewhere.

The college fees will be covered by the German state and at least two return trips a year between Ireland and Germany will also be paid for.

SAP Ireland chief executive Liam Ryan said the students from Ireland would have no obligation to work for SAP after they graduated, but the company would be hoping to hire them and give them a permanent position.

The programme is aimed at secondary school students with a solid foundation in German and interested in a career in the technology sector.

“We want people with a good handle on German,” Ryan said. “They will have to do a language test so they would definitely need to get an A or B in honours German in the Leaving Certificate.

“They can do their studies through English in the first few months, but ultimately they will have to attend lectures in German and sit exams in German.”

SAP Ireland will fund the students through a three-year Germany-based bachelor’s degree in business information and technology course, starting in September 2015.

The students will study for their degree at Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg, a technical university which combines on-the-job training and academic studies.

“We are trying to invest in students for the long run,” Ryan added. “A huge number of people we hire are recent graduates. We also have 80-90 interns going through the organisation at any one time and we look to hire them when they graduate.”

He said that students from Germany had been participating in the programme for the last 30 years, but 2015 would mark the first year that students from Ireland would be funded through it.

The company currently employs a huge number of Irish graduates in the areas of product development and customer support at SAP’s offices in Dublin and Galway, but Ryan said it now wanted to target potential employees earlier.

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