“Our employees’ specialist knowledge is one of Audi’s most important resources,” explained Michael Schmid, Head of Human Resources at Audi Brussels. “In particular the training of next-generation skilled workers is crucial for us. Following the success of the pilot project, we intend to take the next step with a new, additional course of training,” continued Schmid.
The “Dual Training” pilot project started in 2012/13 with participants from two partner schools, Institut Don Bosco in Brussels and KTA in Halle, a town outside Brussels. This kind of cooperation between industry and schools is new in Belgium. Ten young people have now successfully completed their second and final year of training. Whereas five of them will directly enter the company as production plant technicians, the other five will further specialize to gain a new qualification: In September, they will start a third and last year of training to become maintenance technicians.
The basic course of training as a production plant technician consists of four elements: regular lessons at the partner schools, lessons at the schools with the use of Audi materials, lessons in the robot room or laser training room at Audi, and work placement in the Audi A1 production plant. During two years of training, the participants have a total of 600 hours of “Audi lessons.” Specialization as a maintenance technician requires another year of training and is very practice oriented. The trainees then spend 95 percent of their time at Audi Brussels.
After completing their training, the young people also have the option, with the support of the company, of starting a course of study for a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The students then continue to be part of the Audi family in the context of the extensive “Dual Connect” retention program. For example, they are invited to attend training courses and events, and work at the company during the semester breaks.
The success of the new training model in Belgium is confirmed by numerous inquiries from other companies and by the thoroughly positive feedback from the trainees and participating training schools.