A new partnership to furnish students with key digital skills focused on the financial services sector

SAP is today announcing a partnership with UCL (University College London) to launch its first UK-based Next-Gen Lab.

The program starting today at the UCL School of Management will focus primarily on the digital, financial services and insurance sectors, providing UCL students access to leading industry executives, visiting lecturers, training courses, conferences and commercial projects.

To kick off the collaboration, 150 UCL students are participating in a Design Thinking workshop, focusing on an interactive challenge set by Lloyds Banking Group, in collaboration with SAP and UCL.

“We’re delighted by the addition of the SAP Next-Gen Lab. It’s another means to enrich the learning experience for students and will provide an unrivalled opportunity to access industry expertise that will help kick start their careers in the digital economy,” commented David Chapman, Deputy Director at UCL School of Management. “This is the kind of collaboration that is a win-win for all involved: students get a brilliant learning experience, the industry gets more skilled graduates, and UCL is able to expand its world class education offering.”

As part of the SAP University Alliances program, which works with 2,900 member institutions in over 103 countries, the Next-Gen Lab program aims to help meet the digital skills gap in the financial services sector.

Martin Gollogly, Director of SAP University Alliances at SAP UK & Ireland said: “With the Government-backed industry initiative ‘Your Life’ estimating that over 40,000 STEM related jobs are unfilled each year, and more than 100,000 STEM graduates are needed annually in the UK, this is a vital initiative. The rapid growth in the Internet of Things, and the interconnectedness of people and objects is leading to vast amounts of real-time intelligence that will further increase the demand for STEM skills. They will also redefine what those skills are – emphasising real time extraction, analysis, business intelligence and entrepreneurship. Fast growth sectors, such as fintech, will demand even more of these abilities, and ensuring that the UK has the digital credentials needed to realise the potential of this acceleration is vital. We’re committed to playing our part to helping create a vibrant pool of talent for the future.”

The Lab will act as a hub for SAP University Alliances activities across London and the rest of the UK, and will also work in coordination with other SAP Next-Gen Labs in locations such as New York and Palo Alto.

Aneet Morar, Head of Digital Partnerships at Lloyds Banking Group, also added:“With the rise of digital devices changing the way we all interact with our banks, the financial services sector is increasingly looking to digital innovation to find new tools and applications that can deliver for customers. The opportunity to collaborate with the new Next-Gen Lab launch will help nurture that next generation of talent by allowing us to share the insights of the challenges and opportunities that come with scale, and an engaged customer base to provide a deeper understanding of the market.”