A key factor in the development of Volkswagen’s outstanding team is vocational training. Volkswagen has stepped up its commitment to dual education and training and has introduced vocational training at new sites. At the end of 2011, the Group had 15,021 employees in vocational training worldwide. As of December 31, 2011, Volkswagen AG was training approximately 4,667 vocational trainees and students in 33 professions and 20 degree courses at its six German locations under the StIP integrated study and traineeship scheme. In response to the accelerated course of study leading to the university entrance exam in Germany, and the resulting doubling of the number of students finishing school in 2011, Volkswagen AG established an additional 66 vocational training positions. New vocational training positions were also created at Volkswagen Osnabrück GmbH in the period. In 2010, this site had already made it possible for the vocational trainees and students in the StIP integrated study and traineeship scheme who had been terminated by the insolvent Wilhelm Karmann GmbH to continue their training. An additional 29 vocational trainees and students in the StIP scheme were hired in 2011; 11 of them are women in industrial and technical fields.
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. These include the cooperation between Volkswagen vocational training and the “Youth Start-Ups” high-tech and business start-up competition and organization of the “ProTalent” and “ProMechanic” competitions.
Volkswagen vocational trainees have a more than twenty-year tradition of involvement with the Auschwitz memorial site, which is run in cooperation with the International Auschwitz Council. Four times a year, the trainees from Volkswagen and Polish young people travel to Auschwitz for two weeks in each case in order to work on maintaining the memorial. Nearly 2,000 young people from Germany and Poland have participated in the program so far.
AGE STRUCTURE OF THE EMPLOYEES OF THE VOLKSWAGEN GROUP*
age in years, percentages
* Excluding Scania and MAN.
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 270 young employees of the Volks-wagen Group have taken this opportunity. Today, 23 companies in 16 different countries participate in this program.
Every year, the Group Board of Management and the World Works Council present the “Best Apprentice Award” to Volkswagen’s best trainees. This year’s prize for the best apprentice was awarded for the eleventh time at the end of November 2011 in Stuttgart. Twenty-seven vocational trainees from twelve countries accepted the honor.