The Zwickau plant is set to become become the reference point for the production of electric vehicles. Volkswagen will train almost all of its 7,770 employees on e-mobility between 2019 and 2021 here.
Volkswagen has a clear mission: making e-mobility accessible for everyone. the company is therefore transforming itself from a “simple” car manufacturer into the leading provider of electromobility in order to succeed in this mission. A crucial part in this process is training the company’s technicians on new production methods and all the new skills that will be required by electrification, by the new MEB - Modular Electric Toolkit - vehicle architecture, and by the increasing automation of the production process. For this reason, Volkswagen is launching the biggest qualification and training programme in its history at Zwickau. Nearly all of the staff at the site – 7,770 in all – will be prepared for the production of electric vehicles, which will begin in late 2019.
The training courses are structured as follows:
– 3,000 employees will receive basic e-mobility skills. This two-day training unit applies to assembly workers; it will be held in-house and utilise innovative technologies such as virtual reality (VR).
– 3,500 employees will receive a more detailed programme, dealing with more than 300 training topics such as operating concepts, test procedures and driver assistance systems.
– 160 employees will receive the so-called high-voltage (HV) training. This lasts for up to 18 weeks and involves the awarding of one of three certificates: managerial electrical specialist, electrical specialist and electrical specialist for specified activities.
– 1,400 employees will receive high-voltage awareness training.
– 60 employees will become technical specialists for electronics/electrics after two years of training on topics including networking, product and process planning, and data management.
A laboratory with high-voltage equipment and training vehicles has been set up for the training courses. With the aid of digital training and virtual reality glasses, here employees are also trained closely to the real product and real production processes from an early stage. “To make the training courses interesting, we’ve come up with some creative ideas for our colleagues”, says Patrick Hofbauer, head of personnel for the MEB project. For example, there is an “escape room” in which employees move through various different topic areas, experimenting with and learning about e-mobility in an interesting and stimulating way.
Tradition Meets Future
The training courses will start in January 2019 and run through 2021. They will be accompanied by a motivation and change concept. This will include test drives with the e-Golf, internal discussions, and a new slogan, “Tradition Meets the Future”, chosen by the workforce from over 250 proposals. Production of the Volkswagen ID. will begin in late 2019, followed shortly after by the ID. CROZZ. By late 2020, only MEB electric vehicles will be produced in Zwickau – six models for three brands – with plans for the production of up to 1,500 vehicles daily.