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  5. Volkswagen places software developers in pole position with its “Faculty 73“ project

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Volkswagen places software developers in pole position with its “Faculty 73“ project

  • Human Resources Board Member Kilian: Volkswagen offers participants first-class training and prospects
  • Federal Labor Minister Heil: Volkswagen is shouldering its corporate social responsibility
  • AutoUni to be transformed into digitalization campus  

Volkswagen is transforming itself from an automaker into a mobility provider and is now forcing the pace with the implementation of its strategy: in future, the company will be training hundreds of software developers itself. This is the objective of the innovative “Faculty 73” program which the Volkswagen Group Academy has developed specifically for this purpose. Training for the first group of participants is to start in the spring of 2019 and the application and selection phase will start in October 2018. The program will prepare trainees for work as a software developer with Volkswagen and is intended for people who have completed their vocational training and have IT skills as well as internal and external applicants with appropriate qualifications. A degree is not required.

On Friday, the Board Member for Human Resources, Gunnar Kilian, and the Chairman of the Group and General Works Council, Bernd Osterloh, presented the “Faculty 73” program to Hubertus Heil, the Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs.

Human Resources Board Member Kilian said: “Over the years to come, industry will need more software developers that the labor market and educational institutes can offer. With our “Faculty 73” training program, we will be making a key contribution to closing this gap. Next spring, we will be launching the program with the first 100 trainees and we intend to offer those who have successfully completed two years of intensive training permanent employment from the beginning of 2021.”

Federal Labor Minister Heil emphasized: “Digitalization means investing not only in digital technologies and machines but also in people and their skills. My goal is to ensure that technological progress is also social progress. This will only be possible if people receive further training in good time in this era of breathtaking transformation – this is why I was happy to present the Qualification Opportunities Act to the Cabinet on Wednesday. With its “Faculty 73” program, Volkswagen is setting a good example and shouldering its corporate social responsibility.”

Gerardo Scarpino, the Works Council coordinator responsible for the project, said: “Faculty 73 is intended primarily for successful apprentices and colleagues from Volkswagen AG. It will continue successful internal programs for the training of colleagues in the IT field initiated by the Works Council.”

The “Faculty 73” program has been developed by the Volkswagen Group Academy and is due to start in the first quarter of 2019. The first group of up to 100 participants will include people who have completed vocational training with Volkswagen and have an affinity for IT and certain basic knowledge. These may include, for example, electronics technicians for automation, mechatronics technicians, information technology specialists und technical product designers, as well as other employees from Volkswagen’s production and other departments with appropriate motivation and prior qualifications. The program will also be open to people who have found that a degree course, for example in computer science, business computing, mathematics or physics, is not the right approach for them. This will also apply to external candidates such as job-seekers with appropriate qualifications who have had no prospects of permanent employment to date as a result of their prior training history.

The application and selection phase will start in October 2018. Participants coming from Volkswagen will be released from their duties for the duration of the program. In the case of external participants, the detailed conditions of employment still have to be defined. The Faculty 73 project will be managed by the AutoUni of the Volkswagen Group. Within the company, the advanced training department of the Volkswagen Group Academy, the Human Resources division, Group IT and other departments will also be involved.

During the two-year program, trainees will benefit from high-quality software training with intensive coaching in programming. The training will take place at the AutoUni in Wolfsburg and in cooperation with partners – selected universities and private training providers.

The AutoUni will therefore be shifting its focus on a permanent basis towards the training of software and IT experts. The objective is to offer participants who have not obtained formal qualifications to date a Chamber of Industry and Commerce qualification as a Certified IT System Manager.

During the program, each participant will receive up to one year of basic training, which may be shortened depending on participants’ individual prior knowledge. This will be followed by a further year of more advanced practically-oriented training in programming, including the principles of databases for example. The scope of training will also be oriented towards the requirements of the departments where participants will later work. The departments concerned and the participants will get to know each other during several practically oriented training projects. Volkswagen will pay participants the same salary as Volkswagen apprentices completing a dual course of studies.

The first trainees are to complete the program in 2021. Following their training, successful participants will be offered employment by Volkswagen. “Faculty 73” will therefore bring benefits to all concerned. With their qualifications, participants will have an opportunity to secure jobs in future-oriented fields with Volkswagen and the company will be able to recruit software developers trained specifically to meet its requirements.