"Team spirit is a top priority for Volkswagen," says Christoph Görtz, Head of the Volkswagen Academy and Vocational Training in Wolfsburg. "Our new apprentices experienced this for themselves today during the raft building event. I am convinced that our 2017 apprentices are a strong team." Other participants in the event included Volkswagen Human Resources employees, members of the Young People's and Apprentices Representative Committee and teachers from vocational schools in Wolfsburg. Görtz: "This is a strong signal for constructive cooperation in dual vocational training in our region."
"The first raft building event on the Allersee has been a great success. In my opinion, it is the right approach to bring all the apprentices and students on dual courses of study together for an active community experience at the beginning of their training," says Works Council member Gerardo Scarpino, responsible for vocational and advanced training. "This way, our new apprentices get to know each other better. This strengthens the team spirit and a feeling of belonging together for the entire duration of their training."
The raft building event in brief: Following briefing on the material, knots and safety aspects, the 215 young women and 411 men built a total of
75 rafts each with a size of 3 x 3 meters in small groups. The materials available included ropes, boards, logs and truck tire tubes. The individual rafts were launched and their floating and bearing capability was tested. They were then tied together to form convoys of four and six rafts. The trainees paddled these convoys to the middle of the lake, where they were joined to form a giant raft. They finally headed to the southern bank of the lake, paddling strongly. At their destination, a group photograph was taken under the banner "Das wird ganz groß – Volkswagen Berufsausbildung Wolfsburg 2017" ("This will be a great thing – Volkswagen vocational training Wolfsburg 2017").
Statements on the raft building event:
Nicole Macastena (18), from Wolfsburg-Heiligendorf, apprentice automotive mechatronics technician: "Raft building? Initially, I was rather skeptical. And the weather was not very helpful with a strong wind today. Thus, I embarked on an entirely new experience. The great thing was that it was the same for all of us. And we discovered that we can do things as a team that we could not manage on our own."
Fabian Bauer (18), from Grußendorf (District of Gifhorn), apprentice electronics technician for automation: "It was really exciting. We always had our eyes on the other teams. That spurred us on to finish our raft fast. We split up into small working groups and got the work done really quickly."
Thekla Brackemann (20), who enjoys sailing on Lake Constance, now in Wolfsburg, on a dual automotive engineering course (Ostfalia, Wolfsburg) with integrated apprenticeship as a construction mechanic: "I have always been enthusiastic about the great scenery here on the Allersee with the pavilion. I had already been here with some friends to have a barbecue. Raft building is a good idea because it means that we have already met many other apprentices from other vocations after only two weeks."
Julian Koch (18), from Wolfsburg, student on a dual study program of studies in business administration (Ostfalia, Wolfsburg) with integrated internships at Volkswagen: "it really is quite an impressive picture. More than 600 apprentices have created something together in one place. This event is really fantastic. You find out what you can achieve in a team if many people put their hands and heads together."
A video of the raft building event on the Allersee can also be seen on YouTube.