The cornerstone of all Group training initiatives is professional development in the vocational groups. A vocational group includes all employees who perform activities based on similar technical competencies and thus work together across experience and development levels. Learning and teaching occurs in the vocational group mainly through the involvement of its own internal specialists. This model of cooperative learning was established in other areas of the Company in 2011.
The master craftsmen at the Volkswagen Group deserve particular attention with regard to training and professional development. Their qualifications are currently being adapted to uniform worldwide standards. Basic master craftsman qualification training was introduced in 2011 at the first international sites. It prepares future master craftsmen for their work. At the plant in Pune, India, a total of 39 Indian master craftsmen from three courses received their qualification, after 49 employees had participated in the training the year before. In addition, a total of 65 employees across five courses completed basic leadership qualification training in the reporting period. The Kaluga plant in Russia conducted seven master craftsman qualification training courses in which around 100 employees participated. Initial steps for master craftsman qualification training at the Chattanooga site were also taken in 2011.
There are also many tailored training opportunities for other professions in the Group. First and foremost is Volkswagen Coaching GmbH, the main professional development organizational of Volkswagen AG, which offers a broad spectrum of learning. This includes programs for personal development, interdisciplinary seminars and courses, and specialized training programs designed for the particular needs of individual vocational groups. This ensures that all employees are able to develop the unique skills they need for their individual functions. At the same time we facilitate systematic training for employees with respect to corporate and divisional goals. In the past year, over 70,900 employees received further training at the 8,232 seminars held by Volkswagen Coaching GmbH lasting a total of 198,547 participant days. In the area of specialist skills development (e.g. factory automation, robotics and applications engineering, or business), 48,817 employees were involved in 6,286 seminars covering 132,290 participant days. In the field of “crossfunctional skills development” (which includes leadership skills and personal development), 22,133 employees attended 1,946 training courses representing 59,257 participant days. To ensure that its range of training options always keeps pace with the Company’s training needs, Volkswagen Coaching GmbH developed a further 423 training courses in 2011.
Training programs at international locations
Training and qualification opportunities for employees also continue to expand at the Volkswagen Group’s international locations. Dual vocational training and education now exists at 35 sites abroad and is in development at an additional 23 sites. In the Kaluga plant at Volkswagen Group Rus, for example, the second year of vocational training began in 2011 and three additional training professions have been introduced. Likewise, the “Volkswagen India Academy” in Pune, opened at the end of 2010, was able to expand in the past year. A three-year vocational training program for mechatronics in accordance with the dual system has been introduced there. In the future, more than 100 vocational trainees who have been trained at state Industrial Training Institutes as welders, painters, fitters, electricians, tool and machine mechanics, vehicle mechanics, or automation specialists will be guided through a year-long practical training each year. The training academy opened in 2010 at the US site in Chattanooga has expanded its capacity to coincide with the start of operations at the factory there in May 2011. Proven personal development instruments of the Volkswagen Group such as the Management Assessment Center and basic leadership qualification training have been transferred to Chattanooga. In addition to the existing training center in Nanjing, Shanghai Volkswagen in China began construction of a training center in spring 2011 for the plant in Yizheng. The new site in Foshan is currently also being equipped with a training center.
Prospects for university graduates
Volkswagen offers the StartUp Direct trainee program to young university graduates who have recently joined 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 program includes a three-month international placement during its 18-month period. Over 1,400 trainees gained their first Volkswagen experience in one of these two programs since their launch in 2008.