Audi plans to bring dozens of electrified models onto the market by 2025 – an important goal, which requires specific expertise. That’s why Audi employees can count on specially tailored training and development programs.
Electric mobility is presenting new challenges, even in the field of training. And the Audi Academy in Ingolstadt is using cutting-edge technology, such as virtual reality, to take on those challenges.
“The digital world allows us to save real resources. Not only can we share more knowledge with our employees, we can do so in a very individual way. This kind of learning opens up innovative new methods and new content, both in training younger employees and in offering experienced employees professional development opportunities”, explains trainer Rupert Kaindl.
Audi provides professional training to young people worldwide and gives employees the opportunity for advancement throughout their careers.
The Audi Academy combines a range of competence development and qualification programs in one place, allowing apprentices, employees and managers to develop their skills. “With the focus on electric mobility, a new age has dawned for us at the Audi Academy, too and we want to bring our colleagues up to speed as quickly as possible”, adds Erich Schott, who is responsible for apprenticeships in the area of automotive engineering. This is echoed by Michael Lobmeier, who heads the professional development program for the same area: “There is a huge demand for qualifications in the field of electric mobility. Our workforce needs to feel at home in this field quickly”.
Since 2014, more than 450 young men and women have been trained in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm as automotive mechatronics technicians specialising in system and high-voltage technology. After their apprenticeship, they work in various production areas, in one of the workshops in Technical Development, or the Pre-Series Center.
An additional qualification is now being introduced in battery technology, which focuses on the production and quality assurance of high-voltage batteries. The first apprentices will complete the qualification in September 2020, and, ultimately, battery technology will be integrated into the training program as a fixed module.
Professional development measures are designed to take into account the previous knowledge, with different qualification paths available for every employee. The qualifications are structured so that they build on each other, enabling employees to match them to their individual needs.
The more advanced their qualifications, the more freedom they have to work on an electric car. 38 qualifications on the subject of e-mobility are available. “Every person learns differently. We always think about the most efficient way to learn. Our main aim is to provide support and advice,” says Rupert Kaindl. “The digital training world means everyone can learn individually”.
Training and partnerships
By 2025, Audi will invest 500 million euros in professional development alone. In 2019, the Audi Academy qualified around 8,000 participants worldwide for electric mobility. The company is also looking to cooperate with external training partners. For example, together with Ingolstadt University of Applied Science, it has designed a specific professional development program for drive developers. This means that Audi engineers can broaden their knowledge in the university’s lecture halls, with the aim of building up further strategic and technical expertise in the field of electric mobility.
Commercial partners are also receiving electric mobility training: service technicians in more than 40 markets are taking a VR training course to familiarize themselves with the details of the Audi e-tron battery.
Training plays an important role not only in the transition to electric mobility, but also in Audi’s global transformation process into a provider of premium mobility services. To support this aim, the Audi Academy promotes lifelong learning and prepares employees for challenges in a targeted manner – from vocational education and dual studies to professional development courses.
In particular, Audi allows talented young people to qualify in one of 20 areas thanks to a dual course of study that gives students the opportunity to combine theoretical studies with in-house practical experience. Under the “Audi dual” program, various study courses are available to prospective students at the Ingolstadt University of Applied Science and the Technical University of Munich, and also through the partnership program with the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University. Those graduating from these courses are guaranteed permanent employment at Audi.
Training at all levels
If necessary, special training and development programs can be adapted to the particular requirements of a specific country. Of course, training for all employees at Audi also extends to other more traditional topics, such as procurement and logistics, or environmental protection and energy efficiency in production.
Sustainability occupies a key role in Audi’s strategy and in 2016 it founded the Sustainability Academy. The project includes classroom training and digital formats to help strengthen Audi’s vision in this area. All employees and apprentices can develop their expertise around the issue of sustainability, with a focus on the internal transfer of knowledge among co-workers. Around 900 employees attended training courses at the Sustainability Academy in 2019.
The numbers are testament to Audi’s commitment to the area of human resources: in 2019, the Audi Group held 20,694 training events worldwide, totalling 1.7 million participant hours.
Source: AUDI AG