Thursday, May 11, 2006

Outstanding Apprentices from All Over the World

Text from Volkswagen AG.
20 young people receive “Best Apprentice Award 2006”

WOLFSBURG, Germany - The Volkswagen Group conferred the “Best Apprentice Award 2006” on its best apprentices from all over the world in Wolfsburg.

This year, 20 young people from ten countries and three continents received the award. Last year, the Group trained more than 9,000 people worldwide.

The award certificates were presented by Dr. Bernd Pischetsrieder, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, Board Member for Human Resources Dr. Horst Neumann, and Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the Group Works Council. This is the sixth time that the “Best Apprentice Award” has been presented. “The Award provides an incentive to achieve top professional skills,” said Dr. Peter Haase, Managing Director of Volkswagen Coaching.

Pischetsrieder underlined the importance of lifelong learning and stressed: “A good apprenticeship is the best investment for both a company and an individual.” Neumann shared five thoughts with the young people: “First, our focus must be on products and customers. Second, apprentices and employees must look to the world, to a broad horizon.” The Board Member for Human Resources presented the peripatetic program giving apprentices who have completed their training the opportunity for extended stays to gain experience at Volkswagen’s international sites. “Third, a company such as Volkswagen needs outstanding specialized performance.” Furthermore, Neumann urged the young guests to seek role models and act as such themselves. “And finally, cooperation, working together in a team, is crucial.”

Osterloh commented: “Training is part of Group culture and corporate philosophy. An excellently trained and qualified workforce is a security for safeguarding the future.” An international company needed outward-looking employees. “If young people are not taught this at school or at home, we as a company must encourage such an attitude through specific measures.”

The young people who received the awards in Wolfsburg achieved excellence in various fields of expertise. From the mechatronics technician from Anchieta (Brazil) to the bank clerk from Brunswick and the electrician from Bratislava (Slovakia) – these 20 young people will now enter special programs specifically developed by the relevant Group companies. Eduardo Ortuño of VW de Mexico, for example, is looking forward to continuing his career in the Volkswagen Group now that he has completed his apprenticeship: “My apprenticeship brought me into contact with many different areas and I have built up networks.” He trained as an industrial electrician.

The apprentices toured the Volkswagen plants and training centers during their four-day stay in Wolfsburg and talked to training mentors. Test drives in the Autostadt, a visit to VfL Wolfsburg and the new Phaeno museum rounded off the program.

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