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The employee magazine
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Employees

Yes, they can!

The Logistics department at the Zwickau plant is leveling up its employees in the world’s number one language with the help of English students.



Austen Lowe (center) teaching employees Tommy Schwarzenberger and Andrea Horlbeck.

»Many don’t realize how good their English is. More than anything, they need practice.«

Austen Lowe

Austen Lowe – In Logistics at the vehicle plant in Zwickau, almost everyone knows this name, despite the fact that the 20-year-old has only been at Volkswagen Saxony for a few months. The guest student from Chester, near Liverpool, was teaching employees English until December. The lessons were gratefully received.

The project behind it is an investment in the future. By 2020, English is to become the company language. Logistics will be prepared. “That is why I got in touch with the university in Chester and offered them the opportunity to work together,” explains Tom Mittag, assistant to the Logistics department management. “The university was very pleased, as both sides would benefit. They would help us learn English and translate documents, while the students would have the chance to improve their German and get to know Volkswagen.”

Lowe was the first student to visit Zwickau in this capacity. “I have noticed that almost everyone has made progress in only a short space of time. Many don’t realize how good their English is. More than anything, they need practice to gain self-confidence,” the English student discovered.

 

From the Logistics department’s point of view, the project is worth continuing. “Little by little, we want to give everyone in the department the chance to keep working on their language skills.

At the moment, everyone is fired up about it and we want it to stay that way,” says Tom Mittag. He believes that “these individual lessons are a fantastic addition to the English courses offered by the Volkswagen Educational Institute.” He also reports that “the next guest student will arrive in March.”

For Lowe, his time in Zwickau was a special one – and no wonder, because he is a fan of historic vehicles and Trabants, which were still made in the city in GDR times. “There is no better place to learn about it,” he remarked. He enjoyed life in Zwickau very much. “The people are friendly and open-minded. I spent a lot of time with my colleagues in my free time. I really felt at home.”

»At the moment, everyone is fired up about it.«

Tom Mittag