Published on July 7th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Audi aims to strengthen apprenticeship program: 230 new positions by 2018
The European education system boggles outsiders. There are such stark differences between how the Europeans operate when it comes to raising and nurturing the next generation of their workforce. People have talked of how Nordic countries allow great flexibility when it comes to planning one’s education- but the twist is that you are trained rigorously in whatever you choose to pursue, be it engineering or hairdressing.
Germany was one of the early adopters of the system, with a strong belief that students could benefit well from the real-world training that these programs afford. With the majority of education taking place on side and a few months of vocational school a year, these programs are designed to ensure that those enrolled get the same level of education as those who might have chosen to pursue a degree.
Audi believes strongly in the principle of apprenticeship. At one point, the German government was considering making apprenticeship programs mandatory for companies, but this was dropped when the unions and guilds decided to offer them voluntarily as part of a pact. In Audi’s case, they are planning to grow to over 2700 apprentices by 2018, from the 2500 apprenticeship positions they have now.
It’s important to remember that these are not job positions, and the apprentices are transient as each batch graduates. Whether the apprentices choose to stay on at the company or move to another company is their choice, but for the duration of their time at Audi, they will be taught the skills necessary to function in their specific roles.
This move to increase the number of apprentices comes with the introduction of new processes, in the field of automation and production. Just because this is vocational training, it doesn’t mean that the tasks aren’t becoming exceedingly complex. Audi needs new workers in the fields of digitalization and electrification for the production line, and these are the kinds of jobs that even a high-level graduate may have difficulty tackling. The range of apprentice programs available is staggering, with everything from materials testing to logistics on offer.
While these trainees may not be responsible for the design work and more complex aspects of engineering a car, they are highly important when it comes to putting that car into production; after all, what good is a concept if it never sees the light of day, or the tarmac of an open road?