Training and professional development
At Volkswagen, our capacity for innovation and our competitive position largely depends on the commitment and knowledge of our employees, particularly during the transformation.
Staff training at Volkswagen is organized according to vocational groups. These comprise all employees whose tasks are based on similar technical skills and who require related expertise in order to perform their jobs. A skills profile lays down the specialist and interdisciplinary skills for each job and serves as a guide for training measures.
Volkswagen Group employees have access to a wide range of training measures – from further training in general Company-related issues to specific training or personal development programs. Thanks to these opportunities, Volkswagen employees are able to further develop and steadily deepen their knowledge throughout their working lives. In this process, they are also able to learn from more experienced colleagues, who pass on their knowledge as experts in the vocational group academies. Training measures are based on the dual training principle, which combines theoretical content with practical experience on the job by means of specific tasks.
The range of learning opportunities is being expanded continuously. The Volkswagen Group Academy forges partnerships with renowned external training portals to expand online learning, for example on IT topics. The Company has set aside additional funds for the transformation of personnel skills made necessary by digitalization. These resources are used for special training for the groups of employees and departments affected by the transformation. In addition, Volkswagen is striking out in new directions with the Faculty 73 program and is providing in-house training for the software developers who are needed for the digital transformation. In 2021, all 94 graduates of the first phase of the program were placed within Volkswagen AG. In March 2021, 100 students embarked on the training program, which is now in its third year. The program is designed for employees and also external applicants with an affinity for IT and an interest in software development.
Volkswagen AG and CARIAD promoted the establishment of innovative programming schools in Wolfsburg and Berlin in cooperation with the non-profit École 42. The training institute in Wolfsburg commenced operations in May 2021 with initially 170 students from 30 countries. By the end of 2022, it plans to take on 600 students in Wolfsburg and 600 in Berlin, who will learn from and with each other following an innovative training approach.
Vocational training and cooperative education
The core component of training at Volkswagen is vocational training or, for young people eligible to enter university, cooperative education (dual study programs combining university studies with on-the-job training). As of the end of 2021, the Volkswagen Group trained 17,151 young people. We have introduced the principle of dual vocational training at many of the Group’s international locations over the past few years and are continuously working on improvements. Once a year, Volkswagen honors its highest-achieving vocational trainees in the Group with the Best Apprentice Award.
Even after their vocational training has been completed, young people at the start of their careers are encouraged to continue their professional development in our Company.
Development of university graduates
Volkswagen offers two structured entry and development programs for university graduates and young professionals. In the StartUp Direct trainee program, graduate trainees gain an overview of the Company over two years while working in their own department and also take part in supplementary training measures. University graduates interested in working internationally can participate in the 18-month StartUp Cross program. The aim here is to get to know the Company in all its diversity and to build up a broad network. During their participation in the program, young professionals become familiarized with several locations in Germany and other countries by working in various departments. Both programs also include several weeks’ experience working in production. In 2021, Volkswagen AG hired a total of 82 graduate trainees as part of these programs, 31.7 % of whom were women.
Young people can also take part in graduate trainee programs at the other Group companies as well as at the Group’s international locations, such as ŠKODA in the Czech Republic, SEAT in Spain or Scania in Sweden.