Vocational training at Volkswagen

Vocational group qualifications

Training programs are organized in the Volkswagen Group on the basis of vocational groups. A vocational group includes all employees whose work activities are based on similar technical skills and who need related expertise in order to perform their job. The vocational group is the home base for employees in a particular specialism, encompassing everyone from vocational trainees, young specialists, trainees, technical specialists, to experts and Volkswagen’s top experts. Members develop their expertise in these groups by deepening their skills and knowledge and learning from more experienced colleagues.

Dual vocational training

Dual vocational training, where theory and practice are closely interwoven, provides the crucial basis enabling top-performing teams to meet the Volkswagen Group’s high standards of expertise and quality. Vocational education and training are offered based on the expertise required within each vocational group. The vocational group’s own experts pass on the knowledge accumulated in the group to the trainees.

The Volkswagen Group has introduced dual vocational training at many of its international locations in the past few years. As of December 31, 2014, the Volkswagen Group had trained 18,459 vocational trainees worldwide in approximately 60 trades and 50 dual study programs. Over three-quarters of all the Group’s vocational trainees now learn their trade through dual vocational training.

In October 2014, the Volkswagen Group further extended its collaboration with the Chinese education ministry on vocational training, which began in 2012. In partnership with its Chinese joint ventures FAW-Volkswagen and Shanghai-Volkswagen, Volkswagen will support the development of more teacher training centers, with a view to enhancing vocational training in China. Better qualified teachers and trainers will substantially strengthen vocational trainees’ specialist skills, particularly those required in workplace operations.

On completing their vocational training, our young employees have the basic skills required for their trade. They develop their professional skills further during their first specialist assignment following their training and receive support from more experienced experts. Particularly talented young specialists are supported in talent groups. The highest-achieving 10% of trainees in each year group are admitted to this two-year development and training program.

After completing their vocational training, young people at the start of their career have the opportunity to take part in the “Wanderjahre” (Years Abroad) program, spending twelve months at one of the Group’s international locations. In the reporting period, 37 Volkswagen Group locations in 19 countries took part in this development program, including for the first time Sant’Agata Bolognese (Lamborghini). In 2014, 51 employees from Germany and eleven from six other countries embarked on their Volkswagen Group Years Abroad program.

as of December 31, 2014; in percent

Developing university graduates

Volkswagen uses a differentiated approach to support its young academic talent: the Student Talent Bank and the Academic Talent Pool.

Through the Student Talent Bank, Volkswagen seeks to develop particularly high-achieving students in both functional and interdisciplinary areas. The aim here is to persuade former interns to join the Company and, by inviting them to specialist lectures, seminars, or visits, for example, to give them the best possible preparation for entry into the world of Volkswagen.

Talented young high potentials are added to the Academic Talent Pool just before they complete their degree or doctorate. This 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 offers the StartUp Direct trainee program to give graduates the best possible 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 interested in working internationally can take part in the StartUp Cross program; over a period of 18 months, trainees get to know the world of Volkswagen through assignments in a variety of specialist areas along the value chain and, in addition, they broaden their expertise at different Group locations at home and abroad. Over 3,100 trainees have gained their first experience of Volkswagen in one of these two programs since 2008. In the reporting period alone, Volkswagen AG employed a total of 330 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 was initially targeted at university graduates from Spain and Portugal. The program was extended to Italy in 2014. 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 successful completion of the two-year program −30 promising young engineers were taken on in 2014.