In about six weeks, a team of 13 Volkswagen apprentices will present what is still a closely guarded secret at the 34th GTI meeting in Austria (May 13-16, 2015). The young people from Wolfsburg will be presenting their own very special golf GTI* for the first time to an audience of tens of thousands of car and GTI fans from throughout Europe at the Wörthersee meeting. The show car is the result of a training project used by the vocational training organization at Volkswagen to improve the knowledge and skills of its future specialists.
The “Wörthersee GTI 2015” team consists of apprentices in five training vocations: four vehicle interior fitters from Volkswagen and Group company Sitech Sitztechnik, two vehicle paint technicians, four automotive mechatronics technicians, one media designer and two budding process technicians specializing in plastics and rubber engineering.
The work of the four women and nine men started last fall when they collected a body-in-white from the Golf bodyshell production unit. The 17 to 25-year-olds had already exchanged their own personal ideas about the GTI and together developed an idea of how their dream GTI should look, sound and feel. “In many individual steps, our young trainees are creating a unique Golf GTI that will bear their signature both in its interior and on the outside,” says project manager Holger Schülke.
Over the past few months, the young women and men have inspected the components in stock, held discussions with experts within the company in fields such as design, plastic parts production and special painting and have also talked to specialist suppliers.
Work on the Wörthersee GTI has made considerable progress. Some steps such as the production of attachments or the manual painting of the vehicle are being completed by the apprentices themselves. In addition to conceptual design and co-operation with other company departments, this is a key feature of this special vehicle project of Volkswagen’s vocational training organization at the Wolfsburg plant.
“The apprentices have opted for an innovative color scheme that will call for considerable skill and precision,” Holger Schülke emphasizes. At this stage, the young people do not want to reveal any further details about the appearance of their car or technical features of the running gear, engine, interior, seating or sound system. At any rate, Schülke and his young colleagues are convinced that their unique GTI will make a spectacular appearance at the Wörthersee meeting.
In Germany it is very common for students after graduating from high school to start apprenticeship in their fields of choice instead of pursuing higher education. Of course there are those who do opt for university but there are those who may not necessarily have the grades to make but know what they want to do will pursue their career via an apprenticeship, or in other words, on the job training.