Vocational training is a key factor in the development of Volkswagen’s outstanding team. Volkswagen has stepped up its commitment to dual education and training and has introduced vocational training at additional international sites. In December 2012, the Group had 16,714 employees in vocational training worldwide, 11,913 of whom were in Germany.
As of December 31, 2012, Volkswagen AG was training approximately 4,838 vocational trainees and students in 32 professions and 26 degree courses at its six German locations (Wolfsburg, Hanover, Braunschweig, Kassel, Emden and Salzgitter) under the StIP integrated study and traineeship scheme. A further 125 vocational training positions were created as against 2011. 50 additional vocational training positions were established at Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH, Automobilmanufaktur Dresden GmbH and Volkswagen Osnabrück GmbH.
As of the end of 2012, AUDI AG recorded a total of 2,459 vocational trainees in 23 professions. Furthermore, 2,212 vocational trainees were employed at MAN and 453 vocational trainees at Porsche in Germany at the end of the year.
Dual vocational training and education now exists at a large number of sites abroad and is in development at additional sites. In the Kaluga plant at Volkswagen Group Rus, for example, the third year of vocational training began in 2012. Trainees can now also train to be warehouse logistics specialists alongside the previous vocational training careers of vehicle mechatronics specialists, design and production mechanics, vehicle painters and mechatronics specialists.
Vocational trainees at Volkswagen in Chattanooga, USA, have started a training program for mechatronics for the third time. This is run in cooperation with the local partners: Tennessee Technology Center and Chattanooga State Community College.
A modern training center opened at Volkswagen Navarra in Pamplona in April 2012. Building the training center and being committed to education is credited in this region of Spain as a key factor in Volkswagen’s assumption of social responsibility.
Every year, the Group Board of Management and the World Works Council present the “Best Apprentice Award” to Volkswagen’s best trainees around the world. This prize was awarded for the twelfth time at the end of November 2012 in Munich. Twenty-nine vocational trainees from 13 countries received the honor.
Volkswagen supports particularly talented vocational trainees in the talent group for young specialists. This is a key instrument to guide employees who are outstanding at both a professional and personal level through the transition from vocational traineeship to professional practice. A total of 232 talented young people at Volkswagen AG and Volkswagen Financial Services AG took part in this two-year development and training program in December 2012. 163 talented employees have already completed it.
The focus of Volkswagen’s vocational training is on the professional development of the participants. They also benefit from a series of supplementary programs and opportunities. In Germany, these include the cooperation between Volkswagen vocational training and the “Youth Start-Ups” high-tech and business start-up competition as well as organizing of the “ProTalent” and “ProMechanic” competitions. In cooperation with Porsche Inter Auto GmbH & Co. KG in Salzburg and VOLKSWAGEN SLOVAKIA a.s. in Bratislava, Volkswagen AG vocational trainees already have the opportunity to expand their acquired knowledge and skills abroad and to develop professional mobility and flexibility.
AGE STRUCTURE OF THE EMPLOYEES OF THE VOLKSWAGEN GROUP*
age in years, percentages
* Excluding Scania and MAN
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 Coaching GmbH, the trainees from Volkswagen and Polish young people travel to Auschwitz at least four times a year for two weeks in each case in order to work on maintaining the memorial. More than 2,100 young people from Germany and Poland have participated in the program so far. Since 2012, vocational trainees at other Volkswagen subsidiaries and investment companies have now also had the opportunity to help with the maintenance work on the memorial site in Auschwitz.
On completion of their training, since 2006 young people at the start of their career have had the opportunity to take part in the “Wanderjahre” (Years Abroad) program, spending twelve months at one of the Group’s international locations. Today, 32 Volkswagen Group companies in 17 different countries participate in this development program. So far, over 320 young employees of the Volkswagen Group have taken advantage of this opportunity. 46 young people from Germany and ten participants from four other countries started their Year Abroad program in the Volkswagen Group in 2012.
Developing university graduates
Highly qualified young talent is essential for the future of the Company because innovative strength is one of the decisive competitive factors in the automotive industry. Volkswagen uses a differentiated approach to support its academic young 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 functional and crossfunctional areas. Since then, roughly 2,100 students have successfully completed an internship at Volkswagen thanks to their committed approach. 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 new recruiting tool makes selected potential employees visible in the Company, meaning that they are considered for starting a career in one of the functional areas because of their prior experience.
Volkswagen offers the “StartUp Direct” trainee program to young university graduates to get them 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. The program additionally includes multiple-week placements in production and sales as well as an optional foreign placement.
University graduates with an international focus can alternatively enter the “StartUp Cross” program. This international program includes a three-month international placement during its 18-month period. Over 2,000 trainees gained their first Volkswagen experience in one of these two programs since 2008.
With its “StartUp Europe” trainee program, Volkswagen Group has offered young engineers from Southern Europe an opportunity to gain international work experience since 2012. This Volkswagen program is initially targeted at university graduates from Spain and Portugal. The graduates start off in a company in either Spain or Portugal, followed by up to 21 months in a Group company in Germany. Permanent positions may be offered after completion of the two-year program.