When 12 apprentices from Wolfsburg type in their destination, the satnav will indicate a distance of about 950 kilometers and a travelling time of almost 9 hours. They will be heading for Reifnitz am Wörthersee, Austria. At the 33rd GTI meeting from May 28 to 31, the four young women and eight men are presenting a very special training project – a unique Golf GTI. The young people, aged between 18 and 23, developed the vehicle in line with their own ideas, which they put into practice largely by handcrafting. The car was completed in nine months.
The apprentices, who are being trained in four technical vocations with Volkswagen and Sitech Sitztechnik, worked hard on the completion of their Golf GTI. They are now looking forward excitedly to the world premiere in the Austrian state of Carinthia on May 29 and to the reactions of car fans from around the world.
“The apprentices in the Wörthersee team can be proud of their car,” says Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand with responsibility for Development. “They have put good ideas into practice, applied new technologies and created a unique GTI that is really convincing with its attention to detail, its sound and its distinctive appearance.”
The Wörthersee GTI 2014 is a visible result of high-quality practical training at Volkswagen. The budding automotive mechatronics technicians, vehicle paint technicians, vehicle interior fitters and process technicians specializing in plastics and rubber engineering planned, tested and implemented everything themselves from conception and design through to painting, interior equipment and the powertrain. In doing so, they gained considerable specialist expertise.
The young women and men are among the best apprentices in their years, which is why they were selected for the Wörthersee GTI 2014 team and a special task from the Board of Management – to reinterpret a standard Golf GTI Performance* in accordance with their own ideas and to present it as a crowd-puller at the Wörthersee festival. They invested many hours in this task and developed to form a strong team headed by their project manager and instructor Holger Schülke.
“On this vehicle project, the apprentices learn a considerable amount about the technological diversity and competence of Volkswagen,” says Prof. Dr. Werner Neubauer, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand with responsibility for Components, who entrusted them with this task. “For the first Wörthersee GTI based on the current Golf model, they were able to choose from the best components available within the Group range. From the first conceptual sketch through to the final presentation, our budding car builders were able to experience for themselves the high quality demands of Volkswagen.”
Since 2008, Volkswagen has offered its best apprentices the opportunity to expand their specialist knowledge and to demonstrate their creativity and teamwork capabilities on special vehicle projects. “By working on the Wörthersee GTI project, our apprentices learn about the complexity of automobile production. During the creation of their vehicle, our budding skilled workers cooperate with experts from a variety of different professional families,” Ralph Linde, Head of the Volkswagen Group Academy, emphasizes. “This vehicle project offers our apprentices the best opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of their experienced colleagues. This is why the Wörthersee GTI is a real highlight and a key project in Volkswagen’s vocational training program.”
“Again and again, I have been filled with enthusiasm by our apprentices, their skills and their ideas for the GTI meeting,” says Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the Group and General Works Council. “At Volkswagen, dual vocational training is rightly given considerable importance. Our qualified, motivated workforce is one of the cornerstones of our success.”