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  5. Closing the skilled-labor gap together: Volkswagen and CARIAD support the 42 Berlin coding school

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Closing the skilled-labor gap together: Volkswagen and CARIAD support the 42 Berlin coding school

  • Together with partners from the business community, Volkswagen and its software subsidiary CARIAD are supporting 42 Berlin
  • 42 Berlin is the fourth coding school funded by the Volkswagen Group in Europe as part of the “42” network
  • Group Chief Human Resources Officer Gunnar Kilian: 42 represents the future of education and is an important lever in our transformation to a software-centered company. At the same time, by supporting a total of four 42 iterations, we are leveraging crucial synergies within the Group and are taking a joint approach to dealing with the shortage of skilled workers.
  • Rainer Zugehör, Chief People Officer of CARIAD: The new coding school strengthens the software expertise in Europe’s fastest-growing tech hub.
Partner companies Volkswagen, CARIAD, Bayer, Capgemini, Microsoft, SAP and T-Systems with 42 Berlin students at the Grand Opening of the campus.

As a founding member of 42 Wolfsburg, which opened in spring of 2021, Volkswagen recognized the potential of the novel peer-based training concept for its transformation to a software-centered mobility provider from the beginning. Together with its software subsidiary CARIAD, Volkswagen is once again expanding its dedication to promoting the next generation of highly qualified coding experts and – along with its partners Bayer, Capgemini, Microsoft, SAP and T-Systems – providing 42 Berlin with funding in the range of double-digit millions. Additionally, Volkswagen and CARIAD are making their global network and expertise available to the students, for example through mentoring programs and internships. Following 42 Wolfsburg, 42 Heilbronn and 42 Prague, 42 Berlin is the fourth iteration that the Volkswagen Group is funding as part of the 42 network.

On the occasion of the opening of the 42 Berlin programming school, Gunnar Kilian, the Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources and Truck & Bus at Volkswagen AG, said: “Digital competence and IT expertise are central for the Volkswagen Group and will only grow in importance going forward. Supporting the 42 schools in Wolfsburg and now in the European tech hub Berlin is an important lever for us in driving our transformation to a software-centered mobility provider and providing us with access to highly qualified software programmers.”

For Volkswagen, software is increasingly becoming the most important unique selling point and the foundation for new, data-driven business models. In light of this, Rainer Zugehör, Chief People Officer of CARIAD, added: “The car of the future is a smart digital device on wheels. At CARIAD, we work on the automated and networked car for the Volkswagen Group: to this end, we continuously expand our software expertise and are always looking for people who are enthusiastic, motivated and talented when it comes to tech topics. With 42 Berlin, we are supporting an important and innovative new pillar of software training in Berlin, an important development site for us and the fastest-growing tech hub in Europe.”

Volkswagen and CARIAD are providing a total of 11 million euros in funding for 42 Berlin. Other Group brands have recognized the potential of 42 for the digital transformation as well and are also promoting the general-interest coding schools. Audi, for example, is providing around 1 million euros in support for 42 Heilbronn and 42 Wolfsburg through 2025. Skoda has been funding 42 Prague since May of this year and will continue for a period of three years. Porsche is also involved in growing coding expertise and awards five scholarships each year for students of 42 Wolfsburg and 42 Heilbronn.

For Kilian, this is an important gesture: “By supporting a total of four 42 iterations, we are leveraging crucial synergies within the Group and are taking a joint approach to dealing with the shortage of skilled workers. This demonstrates the power the Group has when we join forces and work together to tackle major strategic topics.”

Software competence and a “digital mindset”: new training concept relies on self-study and teamwork and opens up tech training for lateral entrants

42 Berlin is the latest offshoot of the software talent factory “42” founded in Paris in 2013. The core of the innovative IT training concept of the global 42 network is a peer-based learning model – without professors or lectures. To this end, 42 Berlin relies on a gamified learning approach that involves students improving their learning progress from level to level, studying as a community and helping each other improve along the way. Doing so strengthens – in addition to programming skills – important social skills for the working world of the future such as collaboration, the ability to independently solve problems and dealing with errors in a constructive manner.

The 42 schools are dedicated to equal opportunities, inclusion and openness and aim to make IT education accessible to more people. There are no formal admission criteria as with other educational institutions. Neither prior knowledge in the field of IT nor a classic diploma is required. The only prerequisite for admission: applicants have to be at least 18 years old and pass a multiweek test study program (“Piscines”) that tests algorithmic thinking and organizational skills, among other things.

For Kilian, the 42 coding schools with their innovative and inclusive training concept represent the future of education: “As one of the largest employers in the IT sector in Berlin, we are convinced that – together with our software subsidiary CARIAD and with our partners from the business community – with 42 Berlin we are creating another unique educational powerhouse that will become an example for the new and innovative IT education landscape in Germany. In times of a global shortage of skilled workers, it is also our duty as a good corporate citizen to continue reducing entry barriers to education, in particular in the STEM subjects, and to ensure equal opportunities. The 42 schools make it possible for lateral entrants as well as talented people with financial and social disadvantages to enjoy a free study program in a field with excellent future prospects. That is important to us.”

On average, students of the 42 programs complete their training as full-stack software developers in three years, graduating with a level of software expertise comparable to a master’s degree in computer science.

42 Wolfsburg was the first coding school in the 42 network supported by Volkswagen. The key role of the school in the network will be as a flagship in software development for the automotive ecosystem. This specialization will be accompanied by a number of courses that have been developed exclusively for 42 Wolfsburg. As a founding partner, Volkswagen is helping to fund the school with 3.7 million euros in the first year and will provide two million euros in each of the following years. Volkswagen and CARIAD will provide a total of 11 million euros in funding for 42 Berlin. The focus in Berlin is on topics related to cyber-physical systems, artificial intelligence and mobility. Both schools have capacity for 600 students each.

Additional information on the coding schools at 42 Berlin and 42 Wolfsburg. For AUDI, Porsche and Skoda, a click will also take you to additional information

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