Vocational development at Volkswagen

Vocational training has always had an important function at Volkswagen. It is as trainees in the Company that a large number of the future specialists and managers start their career. Vocational training is therefore also essential for the development of specialist skills in the workforce. By the end of 2009, some 4,300 young people had secured a vocational traineeship at one of Volkswagen AG’s six western German locations. Training is provided in 32 different vocations.

The Volkswagen Group is also seeking to increase the number of traineeships available at its international locations. By the end of 2009, 9,846 young people were in vocational training across the Volkswagen Group, including 2,042 outside Germany.

age in years, percentages
Age structure of the workforce of the Volkswagen Group (bar chart)

Systematically encouraging and challenging its trainees is an issue of considerable importance at Volkswagen. An invaluable tool in this context is the “EFA” system for developing and nurturing trainees, on the basis of which trainees’ willingness to learn, skills, creativity and customer focus have been continuously assessed and individually encouraged. Since 2006, on completion of their training, 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. So far, over 100 young employees of Volkswagen AG have gained work experience at Volkswagen’s corporate sites in Portugal, the UK, South Africa and Mexico, at VW Group in Beijing, as well as at SEAT in Martorell, at Škoda in Mladà Boleslav and at Bentley in Crewe. In 2009, the main focus was on finding positions at Volkswagen AG in Germany for people on an international placement. A large group from South Africa, Mexico and Slovakia were placed for the first time in the Wolfsburg and Kassel facilities, for example.

One of the high points of vocational training at Volkswagen is the annual presentation of the “Best Apprentice Award” to the best trainees. In 2009, the Group Board of Management presented Best Apprentice Awards to 22 trainees from eleven countries in recognition of their achievements.

Going forward, uniform standards of expertise will form the basis of vocational training and securing a job at Volkswagen. These standards are currently being developed for four core automotive vocations with the goal of further standardizing and systemizing professional development across the various locations. At the same time, this aims to ensure that the curriculum for all vocational groups comprises the very latest knowledge and is at the cutting edge of technological development.

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