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Strategy

Excitement!

Production and Logistics is qualifying its team for the future. At Zwickau, employees can be trained to become a qualified electrician for vehicle technology, culminating in an officially recognized exam.

Stefan Ochocki (left) from the IHK assesses Patrick Baumann and Nico Reichel’s specialist knowledge of electric vehicles.

At the Zwickau plant, the future isn’t waiting to start in two-and-a-half years’ time – it’s beginning now. When the Saxony plant starts building the I.D. from 2020, essentially launching the Volkswagen brand’s electric campaign for real, it wants to, and indeed must, be prepared. Employees are already being prepped for the start of production and for work that involves high-voltage ­technology and electric drives.

Building up an agile, globally linked-up team with the expertise needed for the workplace of the future is not only the goal of the Zwickau plant but also of the Volkswagen brand’s entire Production and Logistics department. This is codified in the department strategy TRANSFORM.FACTORY+.

The Zwickau plant provides employees with systematic qualification on the topics of batteries and electric drives. The initiator is the Volkswagen Training Institute and its managing director, Holger Naduschewski. For example, employees can take an eight-week course to become a “qualified electrician for vehicle technology.” At the end of the course is a two-day exam set by the IHK (German Chamber of Industry and Commerce), which means that successful candidates will receive an officially recognized diploma.

Teaching is structured into theory and practice. The content? It ranges from the explanation of different technical approaches to pure e-vehicles – full hybrids, mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids and how to link them up to conventional vehicle electrics and electronic systems – through to industrial safety, the latter being particularly important when working with electricity.

“The graduates fulfil
the stringent requirements set by e-mobility,” says Naduschewski. “And this is necessary. Only with a qualified team will we be able to digitalize production and manufacture e-vehicles.”

Well trained

So far, eight employees at Volkswagen Saxony have passed the IHK exam to become a “qualified electrician for vehicle technology.” In addition, 335 employees took a training course ­qualifying them as “electrically instructed staff,” and 170 employees have become “qualified electricians for specific activities.”

3 questions for ... Florian Diersche (33)

Uncharted territory

1 You are among the Volkswagen Saxony employees who have successfully completed the training course to become a qualified electrician. How was it?
From the start, it was very demanding and comprehensive. As well as technical expertise, we went into depth on industrial law and occupational safety. Reviewing the day’s work each night helped me to learn all the new content. After all, working on an e-vehicle is very different from working on a combustion vehicle. On the one hand, much less work is needed for construction, particularly for the powertrain.

On the other hand, when working with high voltage systems, you must always guarantee that the power has been switched off in order to exclude danger at all times.

2 What did you gain from the training?
I feel more secure about handling high-voltage technology, because I have got to know the systems and the differences from my current work. It was great preparation for the I.D. and future projects.

3 How does it feel to be working on the future of the automobile?
It is a great feeling to be one of the first people working on the MEB. Being able to build the I.D. at Zwickau ensures us a future. This job is also particularly exciting and attractive because we are navigating uncharted territory together.