Photo shoot in the special paint shop at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant: the apprentices collect the freshly painted Golf GTI body. Before the body is taken to Hall 103 of Volkswagen Vocational Training for individual final assembly, the apprentices, aged between 19 and 23, briefly lift the blue cover. The 11th apprentices’ GTI, for 2018, will appear in White Silver metallic.
Marie-Kristin Schildwächter (20), future vehicle paint technician from Rühen (district of Gifhorn) explains why the team chose White Silver: “This paintwork is elegant at the same time as being neutral. It provides considerable leeway for creative exterior design, for example light to dark color shifts and multi-color concepts. We considered various concepts and ideas both within the team and with the Design department. I’m not going to reveal any more at the moment.”
Florian Dimt (21) is one of six motor vehicle mechatronics technicians on the GTI team. For his apprenticeship, he came to Lower Saxony from the Erzgebirge Mountains in the East three years ago. “When I first saw the red and black Golf GTI Wolfsburg Edition in 2014, it was love at first sight,” he says. “I was determined to work on a Wörthersee GTI myself and now I have succeeded,” adds Dimt , who has chosen to live in Brunswick. He and his colleagues are responsible for the brake and exhaust systems, the chassis and the body kit of the Wörthersee GTI, including attachments such as front and rear aprons, sills and spoilers. Responsibilities and tasks are divided up among the team members. “On the final sprint, everyone helps everyone else. It is team spirit that counts,” says Dimt.
Lena Volk (20), apprentice vehicle interior fitter from Wolfsburg-Sülfeld, is responsible for the interior together with Henny Stegmann, who is training in the same vocation with Sitech in Wolfsburg: “When I started my apprenticeship, I was already interested in the GTI project and I did my very best right from the start,” says Volk. “On the basis of my good performance, I applied to take part in the project following the first year of my apprenticeship. Now she is sketching, designing, cutting and sewing fabric and leather for side trims, seat covers and the gearshift – all exclusively for the 11th unique GTI to be produced by an apprentice team. “It is a tremendous feeling. In our team, everyone counts,” she says. “All of us are showing what we can do. I am convinced that our Wörthersee GTI 2018 will be fantastic.“
This year, the team includes two specialists in office management for the first time. “They are helping us with scheduling and budget controlling,” says Holger Schülke. He has been the Wörthersee GTI project manager since 2013. Schülke emphasizes: “Again and again, I am thrilled by the high level of motivation, skill and creativity of our apprentices. By the end of the project, the team always appears at the meeting with a fantastic car.”
The Wolfsburg Wörthersee GTI 2018 team headed by project manager Holger Schülke includes seven women and eight men aged between 19 and 22 training in eight different vocations – motor vehicle mechatronics technicians: team spokesperson Maximilian Klar (21), Florian Dimt (21), Maximilian Purrucker (21), Vincent Siermann (20), electronics technicians for automation: Patrick Schilling (19) and Maurice-Christian Ziesmann (21), vehicle paint technicians: Anna-Katharina Heumann (22) and Marie-Kristin Schildwächter (20), vehicle interior fitters: Henny Stegmann (19) and Lena Volk (20), specialists in office management: Lina Bosse (20) and Tina Geißler (20), technical model maker: Sandra Dombrowski (21), technical product designer: Nico Sennhenn (21), process technician specializing in plastic and rubber engineering: Marc Fitzlaff (23).
Maurice-Christian Ziesmann is completing a dual-course study and combining his apprenticeship with a degree course in electrical engineering and information technology (Ostfalia, Wolfenbüttel). Henny Stegmann is completing her apprenticeship with Sitech in Wolfsburg, all the others work at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant. Sitech is the Volkswagen Group company specializing in the development and production of vehicle seats.