Qualification within the Berufsfamilien

To ensure that employees in all our locations maintain an outstanding level of qualification, we need individual qualification and personnel development across the “Berufsfamilien” (professional families) that make up the Volkswagen Group.
A Berufsfamilie includes all employees with related specialist skills who work together, regardless of their level of experience or development. Learning and teaching involve the Company’s own experts, and learning processes are tailored to specific working processes and the technical skills requirements of the relevant Berufsfamilie.
Shared learning is being continuously developed and extended within Volkswagen as more and more Berufsfamilien set up their own Academy to provide qualification. In January 2013, the Group launched the “Volkswagen Group Academy” to serve as the umbrella body for all the Academies within the Group. It was formed following the reintegration of Volkswagen Coaching GmbH and its merger with the AutoUni. The reorganization creates a qualification network spanning initial vocational education and training up to academic in-service qualification that exploits synergies to ensure high skills levels and quality standards across the Group.

Group-wide “Personnel Management Academy” established.

Vocational Education and Training in Line with the Dual Model

Vocational education and training in line with the dual model underpin the Volkswagen Group’s efforts to build a top team. In December 2013, the number of employees in vocational education and training within the Group totaled 17,703 worldwide, including 12,611 in Germany – a record number. Volkswagen AG alone offers training in a total of 30 professions and on 19 courses to apprentices and students on combined practical and theoretical courses within the Company. Hands-on experience days offer young people an opportunity to find out more and are held at Volkswagen AG, among other locations. 30
The dual model of vocational education and training has now been adopted at many sites outside Germany, with others developing the system. Over three quarters of all apprentices within the Group are currently being trained in line with this tried-and-tested system, including those in Spain, Hungary, Russia, the USA, Mexico, India and China.
Dual vocational training began at Volkswagen’s Kaluga plant in Russia in 2010, and since 2012, the plant has added the role of warehouse logistics operator to its existing training professions (motor vehicle mechatronic, construction and production mechanic, automotive painter, and general mechatronic technician). Since 2011, Volkswagen has also been training general mechatronic technicians to German standards at its Indian plant in Pune. The “Volkswagen India Academy” collaborates with the local Industrial Training Institute to provide this training.
In May 2013, Volkswagen Group South Africa was commended for its ongoing commitment to initial and continuing qualification in the context of South Africa’s most important empowerment awards.
In 2012, SEAT switched its vocational education and training system in Spain over to the dual model and has, since then, integrated the facility more closely as a training location. This was made possible by a reform of local education and training legislation, boosting the practical element within training programs, which had previously had a stronger academic focus. And in summer 2013, Audi began training the first apprenticeship year of young skilled workers for its new San José Chiapa plant in Mexico, which is scheduled to come on stream in 2016. In Hungary and China, the Company is already making use of the tried-and-tested combination of theoretical learning and practice-based training. A further pilot project is currently under way at the Belgian location in Brussels.

Dual Model of Vocational Education and Training Worldwide

In November 2013, the the Group Board of Management and the Group Global Works Council held the 13th award ceremony for the Group’s top apprentices around the world. Nine women and 31 men from 20 occupations and 15 different countries won the “Best Apprentice Award”.

A Year’s Support for Young People

Apprentice Involvement in the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum

Hands-on experience days offer young people guidance about the careers and opportunities on offer within the Volkswagen Group.

Programs for Young Skilled Workers

Volkswagen AG promotes future generations of skilled workers through its “talent groups”. “Talent groups” for young skilled workers enable us to support particularly talented employees on their transition from training to professional work. This two-year training and development program recruits the best 10% of apprentices from each apprenticeship year, with an emphasis on the individual development of technical excellence.

The Volkswagen Group promotes intercultural understanding between young employees through a program enabling them to work abroad, known as the “Wanderjahre” (years abroad) program – the name alludes to the tradition among newly-qualified craftsmen of traveling the world and gaining experience. Since 2006, young people at the start of their career have had the opportunity, on completion of their training, to spend 12 months working for a Group company outside their home country. A total of 35 Volkswagen Group companies in 19 countries are now involved in this development program, with MAN Türkiye A.S¸. in Ankara joining the scheme for the first time in 2013 by hosting one participant. So far, almost 400 young employees have taken up this opportunity, and in 2013, 55 participants from Germany and 12 from a further five countries spent twelve months at one of the Group’s international locations.

Developing Graduates

Volkswagen recruits and develops young graduates though the Student Talent Bank and the Academic Talent Pool. Volkswagen AG has been using the Student Talent Bank since 1998 to bring on particularly able students in workplace-related and cross-functional areas. Almost 2,300 students who have demonstrated outstanding technical and personal abilities during their internship at Volkswagen have now been included in the Student Talent Bank. Volkswagen supports these former interns while they complete their studies, for example by inviting them to lectures and presentations, seminars, and trips to Volkswagen sites. Shortly before they graduate or complete their doctorate, these talented students are then moved into the Academic Talent Pool, which provides the Company with a way to identify individuals with potential for graduate-level entry into a specialized area within Volkswagen.
In 2013 alone, Volkswagen AG alone recruited a total of 360 graduates, of whom around 30% were female. The StartUp Direct and StartUp Cross trainee programs give university students a head start within the Company. Over a two-year period, participants in the StartUp Direct program not only work within their own department and familiarize themselves with the Company but also have the opportunity to attend additional qualification programs. The program also includes placements of a few weeks in production and an optional foreign placement. University graduates with an international focus may opt for the StartUp Cross program instead. This 18-month international program includes a three-month international placement. Over 2,700 trainees have acquired their initial experience with Volkswagen on one of these two programs since they were launched.
Many graduates in southern Europe are currently experiencing difficulty in finding employment despite having excellent skills. Since 2012, our StartUp Europe program has been offering young engineers from southern Europe an opportunity to gain international work experience. The initial target group was graduates from Spain and Portugal, and from 2014, the program has been extended to Italy. Participants complete a placement with the Volkswagen Group in their home country and then move to Germany for up to 21 months to work in a Group company there. On completing the two-year program, they may be offered permanent employment. Since the initiative was launched in 2012, no fewer than 5,700 young people have applied for the 67 places on the program.

Promoting the Next Generation and Developing Talent – at a Glance

Program   Target group   Focus   Area  
Welcome Days

New recruits

An initial insight into the world
of ­­Volkswagen, motivating
and engaging recruits
­­Volkswagen Group

Talent groups for
young skilled workers
Talented young people who
have completed their vocational
education and training
Individual development of specialized and crossdisciplinary skills
­­Volkswagen AG,
­­Volkswagen Financial Services AG, ­­Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH
“Wanderjahre” program
Qualified apprentices
Promoting intercultural mobility
and experience
­­Volkswagen Group
Student Talent Bank
High-performing current students
Developing and engaging potential recruits ­­Volkswagen AG
Academic Talent Pool

High-performing students and
doctoral candidates close to
completing their studies
Recruitment tool

­­Volkswagen AG:
Wolfsburg and Hanover locations
StartUp programs/ ­
trainee programs

University graduates


Company familiarization, promotion
and development, building national
and international networks through
project work
­­Volkswagen Group


StartUp Europe
Young engineers from Spain,
Portugal and, from 2014, Italy
Recruitment of international talent, social commitment ­­Volkswagen Group

Volkswagen offers every employee the opportunity to develop their skills within the Berufsfamilien.

Qualifying Every Employee

The Volkswagen Group Academy run by Volkswagen AG offers employees a wide range of skills development measures, including personnel development programs, cross-functional seminars and courses and specialized qualification programs geared to the specific requirements of individual Berufsfamilien. The dual model of vocational training underpins the Academy’s offering, acknowledging that close coordination between theoretical learning and practice-based qualification is the best way to ensure that employees continue to develop their specialist skills throughout their working lives.
During 2013, a total of 86,316 participants benefited from 10,060 qualification programs organized by the Volkswagen Group Academy, representing 213,678 participant-days. In the area of specialist skills development (e.g. factory automation, robotics and applications engineering or management), 56,554 participants attended 7,591 seminars over 126,976 participant-days. Meanwhile, in the field of “cross-functional skills development” (which includes leadership skills and personal development), 29,762 participants attended 2,469 courses, representing 86,702 participant-days. 369 new programs and courses were developed over the course of the reporting year to ensure that the Company’s in-service qualification provision continues to meet its needs.
The creation and development of Berufsfamilie Academies means that sites outside Germany are increasingly involved in this qualification model, for example via the “Beschaffungsakademie” (Procurement Academy) at ŠKODA in the Czech Republic, the “Akademie der Qualitätssicherung“ (Quality Assurance Academy) in Mexico and the “Produktakademie” (Product Academy) in China. Brandspecific qualification provision is complemented, optimized and extended by cross-brand provision.

86,316 employees attended 10,060 qualification programs.

The Group-wide “Personnel Management Academy” was set up in mid-2013 for employees in the Personnel Management Berufsfamilie. It was followed, in late 2013, by the “Finanzakademie” (Finance Academy), the Group-wide “Logistikakademie” (Logistics Academy), and the “Academy of Communications”. A further new Academy is the “FS Akademie” (FS Academy), in which Volkswagen Financial Services AG brings together its qualification activities and expert knowledge.

Further Development in Leadership and Management

Initial and in-service qualification for Meister is a particular priority for the Volkswagen Group. Meister qualifications are currently being brought into line with uniform worldwide standards. A Group Leader Qualification prepares the Meister of tomorrow for their role as production managers. Qualification has already been standardized at Group locations in India, Poland and Russia, and 322 Meister completed their qualification at Volkswagen in 2013, including 84 outside Germany.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen prepares its future supervisors for their leadership role by means of Basic Leadership Qualification followed by an examination. Both elements are being rolled across Group companies. India, Mexico, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic, the USA, Spain, Brazil and China already provide standardized qualification for managers.
Employees’ development into management roles is supported by the management selection process: in a comparative discussion with the relevant specialist departments, management candidates are selected on the basis of their technical competencies, while their entrepreneurial skills are assessed in a Company-wide Management Assessment Center. In 2013, the Management Assessment Center was launched successfully at Volkswagen in Argentina, Spain, Mexico, the USA, China, Brazil and Slovakia and at the SEAT, MAN and Bentley brands.

Professional Academic Training

Under the auspices of the Volkswagen Group Academy, the AutoUni provides specialist academic knowledge and offers employees a chance to learn from top experts within the Volkswagen Group.
The qualification provision offered in conjunction with the specialist departments and partner universities is tailored to the needs of the Berufsfamilien. In-service qualification events enable participants to learn from leading specialists within the Berufsfamilien, selected university professors, and experts from the private sector. This ensures that knowledge and experience are passed on within the Group and that new research cascades down into Group companies. In 2013, there was a particular emphasis on intelligent mobility, including electric traction, innovative drivetrains, lightweight design, and the sustainability of transport systems.
Over the past few years, the work of the AutoUni, which is based in Wolfsburg (Germany), has been extended around the world, with provision opening up in 2013 in Group locations in Bratislava (Slovakia), Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic), Martorell (Spain), and Shanghai and Beijing (China), among other locations. In 2013, around 9,000 people took part in over 220 AutoUni courses.
As part of our regional social outreach, around 20% of these events were open to the public. The AutoUni puts on more than 650 speakers each year, with over 300 from the automotive sector alone.
In the field of research, the AutoUni collaborates with leading international universities, institutes and research centers on a range of research projects and on academic dissertations and theses. It is also intensively involved in the Volkswagen Group’s own doctoral student program, in which over 420 doctoral students were supervised in 2013 by the various companies within the Volkswagen Group in Germany. These doctoral students undertake research into ambitious PhD thesis topics with relevance for the Company. To this end they work closely with their own department within the Group, which also appoints a supervisor from within the Company. The latest research findings then feed directly into AutoUni courses. AutoUni supports doctoral students by providing seminars on academic writing, and its doctoral colloquium offers them the opportunity to present work-in-progress to a Group-wide audience and discuss their theses. 31
AutoUni also supports the Volkswagen Group in identifying appropriate academic partners from within research and teaching. It networks the persons responsible for university contacts within the Group to create synergies between brands and companies and to ensure that the processes involved in developing and implementing university cooperation arrangements are consistent.

International “Science Award Electrochemistry”