- "Best Apprentice Award 2014" for 43 young talents from 18 countries
- Apprentices from the USA, India and a dealership owned by the Group honored for the first time
The awards were presented by the Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, the Member of the Board of Management responsible for Human Resources, Organization and IT, Dr. Horst Neumann, and the President of the Global Group Works Council, Bernd Osterloh. The ceremony took place at the CongressPark in Wolfsburg on the occasion of a joint meeting of the Group Board of Management and the Global Group Works Council.
Prof. Winterkorn underscored: "I am proud of the competence of our young employees. Today we are honoring the best of the best from the Volkswagen world. All of the award-winners have demonstrated high commitment, excellent specialist knowledge and considerable skill during their training. With young specialists like them, we are strengthening the future orientation of our Group."
Dr. Neumann said: "Specialist knowledge and skills lay the foundation for a high-performance staff, for outstanding quality, top products and business success. In addition, a thorough training opens up prospects for a promising career. This is why we at Volkswagen place considerable emphasis on first-class dual vocational training that closely links theory and practice. Most of our about 20,000 apprentices throughout the world are training in their vocation on the basis of the dual principle, which we also continue in on-the-job further training in our professional families."
Osterloh said: "The dual vocational training system within the Volkswagen Group is a uniquely successful model throughout the world. It lays a firm foundation for almost unlimited vocational development prospects for our young colleagues and therefore ensures that they can shape their own lives. The Group Works Council is committed to ensuring that Volkswagen continues to invest strongly in the training and qualification of our young people throughout the world."
In recognition of their achievements, the 43 award-winners were invited to Germany to participate in a multi-faceted program spanning several days. This year's "Best Apprentice Award" was the 14th of its kind presented by the Volkswagen Group, and a total of 341 apprentices have been honored since 2001.
The apprentices honored today were (in alphabetical order):
Josu Acosta Urtizberea, mechatronics technician (Volkswagen Navarra, Pamplona, Spain), Marcos Rogério Ambrosius Filho, mechatronics technician (Volkswagen do Brasil, São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil), Tomasz Bakajew, mechatronics technician (Volkswagen Motor Polska, Polkowice, Poland), Sara Boaretti, process and product mechanic technologist (Lamborghini, Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy), Robert Brucklachner, metal cutting mechanic (MAN Diesel & Turbo, Augsburg, Germany), Tim Clasen, metal cutting mechanic (MAN Diesel & Turbo, Oberhausen, Germany), Marc Ehrlich, foundry mechanic (Volkswagen, Kassel, Germany), Zhenjing Feng, industrial mechanic (Shanghai-Volkswagen Ningbo, China), Carl Forsell, mechatronics technician (Scania, Södertälje, Sweden), Melanie Fütz, automobile business administrator (Volkswagen Group Retail, Audi-Zentrum Leipzig-Süd, Germany), Juan Luis García Cruz, electronic technician (Volkswagen de México, Puebla, Mexico), Annabelle Glatt, specialist in office communication (Volkswagen, Wolfsburg, Germany), Thomas Hartmann, automation electronics engineer (Audi, Ingolstadt, Germany), Caleb Higginbotham, mechatronics technician (Volkswagen of America, Chattanooga, USA), Miroslav Hošťálek, machinery and plant mechanic (ŠKODA, Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic), Bo Huang, vehicle paint technician (FAW-Volkswagen, Chengdu, China), Kay Huber, warehouse logistics specialist (Porsche, Stuttgart, Germany), Werner Huber, specialist technician in truck technology with module system electronics (Porsche Inter Auto, Salzburg, Austria), Ellen James, mechatronics technician (Bentley, Crewe, UK), Marvin Köhler, automation electronics engineer (Audi, Neckarsulm, Germany), Valerie Kokemüller, tool engineer (Volkswagen, Brunswick, Germany), Michal Mikschl, mechanic and machine setter (ŠKODA, Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic), Fanisile Momo, mechatronics technician (Volkswagen of South Africa, Uitenhage, South Africa), Philipp Neubert, warehouse logistics specialist (Volkswagen Sachsen, Zwickau, Germany), Filip Ochaba, automation electronics engineer (Volkswagen Slovakia, Bratislava, Slovakia), Sandro Rabitsch, specialist technician in truck technology and technician in systems (MAN Truck & Bus, Villach, Austria), Semen Salnikow, mechatronics technician (Volkswagen Group Rus, Kaluga, Russia), Javier Sánchez Martínez, metal cutting mechanic (SEAT, Martorell, Spain), Janin Saupe, automotive mechatronics technician (Porsche, Leipzig, Germany), Isabell Schepelmann, specialist in insurance and finance (Volkswagen Financial Services, Brunswick, Germany), Philipp Schweiger, mechatronics technician (Volkswagen Sachsen, Zwickau, Germany), João Ricardo Sequeira Santos, mechatronics technician (Volkswagen Autoeuropa, Setúbal, Portugal), Jiajun Shi, automotive mechatronics technician (Shanghai Volkswagen Powertrain, Shanghai, China), Onur Sönmez, automation electronics engineer (Volkswagen, Salzgitter, Germany), Anshuman Srivastava, mechatronics technician (Volkswagen India, Pune, India), Simone Starkey, Bachelor of Commerce Management (Volkswagen of South Africa, Uitenhage, South Africa), Nele Steiner, vehicle paint technician (Volkswagen, Wolfsburg, Germany), Grzegorz Szczeciński, mechatronics technician (Volkswagen Poznań, Poznań, Poland), Baoyu Tang, automotive electric technician (Volkswagen Automatic Transmission, Tianjin, China), György Vig, automotive mechatronics technician (Audi Hungaria, Györ, Hungary), Saskia Wiebe, warehouse logistics specialist (Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Hanover, Germany), Theresa Wolf, automotive mechatronics technician (MAN Truck & Bus, Munich, Germany) and Johannes Yalcin, automotive mechatronics technician (Volkswagen, Emden, Germany).
For the first time, awards went to apprentices from the Volkswagen Group of America, Caleb Higginbotham (mechatronics technician), from Volkswagen India, Anshuman Srivastava (mechatronics technician), and from a dealership owned by Volkswagen Group Retail, Melanie Fütz (automobile business administrator) of Audi Zentrum Leipzig-Süd, Germany.
Eight of the award winners have already been honored in their home countries for their outstanding knowledge and skills in their training vocations. These include Chamber of Industry and Commerce national award winners Marc Ehrlich (foundry mechanic) from Volkswagen in Kassel, Kay Huber (warehouse logistics specialist) from Porsche in Stuttgart plant and Marvin Köhler (automation electronics engineer) from Audi in Neckarsulm. There were three Chamber of Industry and Commerce state award winners from Lower Saxony: Volkswagen apprentices Onur Sönmez from Salzgitter (automation electronics engineer) and Nele Steiner (vehicle paint technician) from Wolfsburg, who helped build the Golf GTI Cabriolet Austria for the 2013 Wörthersee GTI meeting. Caleb Higginbotham (mechatronics technician) from the Volkswagen Group of America's Chattanooga plant was Gold Winner in the vocational training competition "Skills USA". The best industrial mechanics trained in the Czech Republic were Miroslav Hošťálek and Michal Mikschl from the ŠKODA plant in Mladá Boleslav.
Ten of the award-winners are now taking a degree course with the support of their companies: Marcos Rogério Ambrosius Filho (automotive engineering), Melanie Fütz (automobile management), Thomas Hartmann (electrical engineering and information technology), Marvin Köhler (electrical and control system engineering), Valerie Kokemüller (automotive engineering), Javier Sánchez Martínez (mechanical engineering, specializing in production planning), Onur Sönmez (automation electronics engineer), Baoyu Tang (electrical engineering and information technology), Theresa Wolf (automotive engineering) and Johannes Yalcin (mechanical engineering).
In addition, three of the award-winners will be receiving two years of individual support in their professional family within the "talent group for young specialists". A further five young people will be taking part in the "Wanderjahre" (years abroad) program. They will be living and working for a year at a Group location in another country.