Gunnar Kilian, the Chief Human Resources Officer at Volkswagen AG, said of the creation of the programming academy ‘42 Berlin’: “We at Volkswagen are actively pressing ahead in our work to transform the company into a software-oriented mobility group. But transformation requires qualifications, in particular. This is why digital skills and IT know-how will be cornerstones of our continued success and the driving forces behind our transformation. With this realization in mind, we are continuously investing in the qualifications of our workforce. We are also taking new approaches to attract tech talent to Volkswagen. This includes our support of the coding school ‘42 Wolfsburg’ that up to 600 students will begin attending by the end of next year to prepare for a software career. We are taking another big step by creating the new ‘42 Berlin’. We are one of the largest employers in Berlin’s IT sector, and we truly believe that our software subsidiary, CARIAD, our partner companies and we can jointly create a unique powerhouse that will serve as a model for Germany’s new, innovative IT education landscape.”
Expanding the Group’s digital expertise is a strategic mission for the future
Volkswagen is going through a phase of fundamental transformation. One major aspect of the Group’s transformation into a software-based mobility company is the expansion of the company’s technology expertise. To efficiently and systematically meet the rising demand for highly qualified IT specialists, the Volkswagen Group is taking novel approaches and using a wide range of tools.
1. Focus on internal transformation: The company has boosted its qualification budget from €40 million to €200 million in order to prepare employees for the work world of the future and maintain their skills. One example of the way that the company is internally strengthening its IT expertise is a two-year program in which students train to become junior software developers at ‘Faculty 73’. Up to 1,000 software developers could complete the Faculty 73 program by 2024. Graduates earn a diploma issued by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The program’s fourth class will begin next year.
2. To quickly and broadly expand its digital expertise, Volkswagen has completely rethought its entire approach to human resources, including the recruitment of software experts. The company is now focusing on digital channels to recruit the very best IT talent. In the personnel-marketing campaign ‘Hello Possible 2.0’, Volkswagen launched its first exclusively digital campaign at the end of 2020 and addressed the target group in the places that are the focal points of their lives – on the social networks of Xing, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
3. To recruit qualified, internationally coveted digital experts who can help fuel the continued growth of CARIAD in particular, Volkswagen joined forces with its software subsidiary and expertlead, a Berlin-based start-up that specializes in tech recruiting, to establish a joint venture called ‘Futurepath’. ‘Futurepath’ intelligently complements previous tech-recruiting initiatives and is a key tool in the competition to attract the best talent.
4. With the flagship ‘42 Wolfsburg’ and the new ‘42 Berlin’ Volkswagen has added two more promising elements to its far-reaching qualifications and tech-recruiting initiatives.‘42 Wolfsburg’ was the first coding academy in the ‘42’ network to focus on software-engineering automotive & mobility ecosystems. As the founding partner, Volkswagen invested €3.7 million in the first year and will provide €2 million in annual funding to it in future years. Volkswagen and CARIAD will provide a total of €11 million in funding for ‘42 Berlin’. Both academies have capacity for 600 students each.