Vocational training at Volkswagen
Vocational training is a key factor in the development of Volkswagen’s outstanding team. This is why Volkswagen has continued to expand its international commitment to the dual education and training system in the vocational groups in recent years. In December 2013, the Group trained 17,703 employees in vocational training worldwide, 12,611 of whom were in Germany.
Dual vocational training and education along German lines now exists at a large number of sites abroad and is in the process of being established at others. For example, Volkswagen offers this at its site in Pune, India, and the Kaluga site in Russia by working together with local business partners and academics.
In 2013, 12 vocational trainees at Volkswagen in Chattanooga, USA, completed a vocational training program in the field of mechatronics for the first time. Local partners here include Tennessee Technology Center, Chattanooga State Community College, Tennessee Technology University and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Back in 2012, SEAT switched its vocational education and training system in Spain over to the dual model and has integrated the facility more closely as a training location since then.
Every year, the Group Board of Management and the World Works Council present the “Best Apprentice Award” to Volkswagen’s best vocational trainees around the world. This prize was awarded for the thirteenth time in November 2013 in Braunschweig. 40 vocational trainees from 15 countries received the honor.
Volkswagen supports particularly talented vocational trainees in its talent group for young specialists. This is a key instrument for guiding employees who are outstanding at both a professional and personal level through the transition from vocational traineeship to professional practice. In December 2013, 196 talented young people took part in this two-year development and training program; 270 have already completed it.
After completing their vocational training, young people at the start of their career have had the opportunity since 2006 to take part in the “Wanderjahre” (Years Abroad) program, spending twelve months at one of the Group’s international locations. Today, 35 Volkswagen Group locations in 19 different countries participate in this development program.
The focus of Volkswagen’s vocational training is on professional development, but participants also benefit from a series of supplementary programs and opportunities. For example, Volkswagen vocational trainees have a more than twenty-year tradition of involvement with the Auschwitz memorial site. Prepared and supervised by the International Auschwitz Council and Volkswagen Group Academy, vocational trainees from Volkswagen, its subsidiaries and investees and Polish young people travel to Auschwitz six times a year for two weeks in each case to help maintain the memorial. More than 2,400 young people from Germany and Poland have participated in the program so far.
AGE STRUCTURE IN YEARS OF THE VOLKSWAGEN GROUP EMPLOYEES*
as of December 31, 2013; in percent
* Excluding Scania and MAN.
Developing university graduates
Volkswagen uses a differentiated approach to support its young academic talent: the Student Talent Bank and the Academic Talent Pool.
Volkswagen has been using the Student Talent Bank since 1998 to develop particularly high-achieving students in both functional and interdisciplinary areas. Since then, nearly 2,300 students have qualified for inclusion in the Student Talent Bank thanks to their committed approach during their internship at Volkswagen. Volkswagen supports these former interns during their further studies and invites them to presentations and seminars by specialists or on excursions to Volkswagen locations, for example.
Talented students are added to the Academic Talent Pool just before they complete their degree or doctorate. This recruiting tool puts selected high potentials on the radar screen at the Company, allowing them to be considered for a qualified entry-level position in one of the functional areas.
Volkswagen’s StartUp Direct trainee program gets university graduates off to a flying start in the Company. Over a two-year period, participants in the program not only work in their own department and familiarize themselves with the Company, but also attend supplementary training seminars. Alternatively, university graduates with an international focus can enter the StartUp Cross program. This 18-month international program includes a three-month international placement. Over 2,700 trainees have gained their first experience of Volkswagen in one of these two programs since then. In 2013 alone, Volkswagen AG employed a total of 360 university graduates, around 30% of whom are women.
The Volkswagen Group’s StartUp Europe trainee program has offered young engineers from Southern Europe an opportunity to gain international work experience since 2012. This Volkswagen program is designed to attract international talent and is initially targeted at university graduates from Spain and Portugal. The graduates start off in the relevant company abroad before moving to a Group company in Germany for up to 21 months. They may be offered permanent positions after completion of the two-year program.