In the spring of 2019, Volkswagen had already started to train software developers itself in order to meet its growing demand. By the time the deadline had expired, 1,500 applications had been received for the 100 places. Comprehensive tests were carried out before 100 women and men between the ages of 19 and 43 were finally selected.
“We have really hit the mark with Faculty 73,” says Kilian. “Training is proceeding very well and the first intermediate tests have significantly exceeded our expectations. This speaks for the participants and for our concept. The trainees are highly motivated and our departments are very interested in recruiting them. Volkswagen has shown that digitalization cannot be accomplished only by investing in technologies. Digitalization also means investing in people and skills.”
Gerardo Scarpino, the Works Council coordinator who is responsible, emphasizes: “The training of colleagues is a key element in the Digital Transformation Roadmap which aims to prepare our company for the major changes of the future such as the transition to e-mobility and digitalization. This is why it was important for us, as employee representatives, to ensure that the Faculty 73 program mainly targeted apprentices and colleagues from Volkswagen AG.”
The program was developed by the Volkswagen Group Academy and prepares the participants for work as software developers with Volkswagen.
In its second year, Faculty 73 is again targeting apprentices with a basic IT knowledge as well as internal and external applicants with other appropriate initial qualifications. A degree is not required.
The first group of participants includes people who have completed vocational training with Volkswagen and have an affinity for IT and certain basic knowledge as well as production and other employees with appropriate qualifications and motivation. The program is also open to people who have found that a degree course, for example in computer science, mathematics or physics, is not the right approach for them. This also applies to external candidates such as job-seekers with appropriate qualifications who have had no prospects of permanent employment to date as a result of their prior training history.
During the program, all participants receive basic training in line with their previous knowledge. This is followed by a further year of more advanced practically-oriented training in programming. The scope of training is also oriented towards the requirements of the departments where participants will later work. The departments concerned and the participants get to know each other during several practically oriented training projects. Volkswagen pays participants the same salary as Volkswagen apprentices completing a dual course of studies. When the first participants complete the program in 2021, they are to be offered employment by Volkswagen.
Faculty 73 is managed by the AutoUni of the Volkswagen Group. Within the company, the advanced training department of the Volkswagen Group Academy, the Human Resources division, Group IT and other departments are also involved. Participants benefit from high-quality training as software developers with intensive coaching in programming. The training takes place at the AutoUni in Wolfsburg and in cooperation with partners – selected universities and private training providers.
Note: This text, further information on Faculty 73 and photos are available at www.volkswagen-newsroom.com