The Customer Education Management Association (CEdMA) Europe has presented the SAS STEP Programme with its 2021 Impact Award. This recognises excellence in education for the impact on participants, as well as the ability to clearly prove that impact.
Global analytics leader SAS, has its UK headquarters in Marlow, Buckinghamshire and supplies advanced data analytics to 90 per cent of the top 100 Fortune companies. It launched the SAS STEP Programme in the UK and Ireland earlier this year. It is a free digital learning programme to aid post-pandemic economic recovery by training 10,000 people in much sought-after data skills, with the aim of finding them employment. It comprises four learning pathways and a foundational data literacy pathway, along with a data analyst course, are already available. Further data engineering and more advanced data science pathways will be released later in the year.
Judges described the programme as having “excellent metrics in human terms”, being “well thought out…with a focus on upskilling different demographics and giving opportunity to those who really need it”. It was also praised for helping “address the ongoing problem of a reduction in STEM students versus the increasing number of analytics roles being created”.
Kevin Streater, Chair, CEdMA Europe, said: “SAS identified a critical skills gap in the UK & Ireland that they could address with a focused initiative that had clear outcomes and direct economic impact. The STEP programme is an excellent example of how CEdMA members can deliver significant impact and new skills into much needed areas whilst developing staff skills and wider partnerships.”
Roderick Crawford, VP & Country Manager, SAS UK & Ireland, said: “It’s fantastic to see the SAS STEP Programme get this award from CEdMA Europe, as it’s an initiative we’re extremely proud of. It is a concept that our own employees came up with when challenged on how SAS could support economic recovery from the COVID pandemic.
“SAS’ origins are in education plus we already have excellent digital learning content, so we were well placed to deliver this. The key now is to ensure as many people as possible can not only acquire these important data skills, but make use of them to find employment.”