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  5. Volkswagen starts “Faculty 73” training program for IT specialists

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Volkswagen starts “Faculty 73” training program for IT specialists

  • 100 participants started training at the beginning of March
  • Goal: software developers for the automotive industry
  • Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil: “As one of the largest German companies, Volkswagen has recognized the sign of the times.”
Volkswagen starts “Faculty 73”

The newly-established “Faculty 73” at Volkswagen has begun its training program for software developers. In the four weeks since the program got underway the 100 participants have already developed and programmed the first model vehicles and built a software-controlled miniature production line. Today, the Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil, was joined at the AutoUni in Wolfsburg by Human Resources Board Member, Gunnar Kilian, and the Chairman of the Works Council, Bernd Osterloh, to find out more about the successful start to the Group’s internal IT training program. Under the innovative program, participants are trained as software developers at Volkswagen over a two-year period. Students include employees who have completed their vocational training as well as PhD graduates.

In his speech, Federal Minster of Labor and Social Affairs Heil underscored: “As one of the largest German companies, Volkswagen has recognized the sign of the times. Digitalization is changing our working world. Qualification and professional development are key parameters for work and prosperity in Germany. I am delighted that more than 100 people are participating with such success in the Faculty 73 model project, thus enabling Volkswagen to secure well-trained specialists for the long term.”

Human Resources Board Member Kilian said: “Currently, the education market and the labor market cannot cover industry’s demand for software experts. That is why we decided to act and are gearing up for the big challenges of the future with Faculty 73. Our aim is to develop a significant proportion of the software for our vehicles ourselves because software is one of the critical factors going forward. Digitalization, e-mobility and connectivity will trigger a further steep rise in the software share. Our selection process for the first intake under the program focused in particular on basic skills and an affinity for IT on the part of candidates. The successful start confirmed this was the right approach.”

Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the Group Works Council, commented: “Faculty 73 is a meaningful addition to vocational training, dual studies and classic professional development. The majority of participants in the first year of the program already worked for Volkswagen. This confirms the Works Council’s conviction that our colleagues themselves are the company’s best experts. Based on experience to date, I am optimistic that good reinforcements, above all as regards programming, will soon be strengthening our IT departments.”

The “Faculty 73” training program was developed by the Volkswagen Group Academy. Some 1,500 applications have been received since last October, approximately half of them from external candidates located all over Germany, but primarily from Lower Saxony.

The students benefit from high-quality IT education with intensive programming training and project tasks under the two-year program. Training takes place at the AutoUni and in cooperation with selected partners such as Bredex GmbH, New Elements GmbH and Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences.

The program offers one year of basic training with learning content tailored to the individual level of knowledge. This is followed by a second year which offers the students in-depth practice-oriented programming and teaches them several programming languages. The scope of training is also oriented towards the requirements of the departments where the participants will later work.

Four weeks into the program, the first training projects were presented during Monday’s visit; these included vehicles with creative functions and designs developed by participants, a software-controlled Lego production line where the participants were required to coordinate all production steps, as well as various obstacle courses which could only be correctly navigated using assistance software developed specifically for this purpose.

The first intake of participants is expected to have successfully completed the program by early 2021 and will then be offered permanent employment with Volkswagen. “Faculty 73” brings benefits for all those involved: the participants can look forward to the prospect of employment in a future-oriented field at Volkswagen thanks to their training, and the company gains software developers trained in precisely those skills that are needed.

We will be publishing information on the next round of applications in due course at www.fakultaet73.de.