• 42 Group locations in 18 countries participate
  • Program for career entrants started in 2006
Since 2006, Volkswagen has already assigned 500 young employees to a "Wanderjahr" (Year Abroad). The program allows young people who have completed their apprenticeship to gain international experience by spending 12 months with a Group company in another country. The 500th participant is Laura Lange from the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg. She started her Year Abroad with Autoeuropa in Portugal in October.

The Head of Human Resources of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, Martin Rosik, says: "Volkswagen offers its employees attractive development possibilities. The ‘Year Abroad' is very popular with our young employees because it opens up the international world of work of the brand and the Group to qualified, high-performance young people at an early stage."

Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the Group Works Council, emphasizes: "The young participants spend 12 months in another country. At the Group company concerned, they are part of the normal work process and are deployed in accordance with their qualifications. The Works Council supports this program, as it makes a major contribution to intercultural understanding."

42 Volkswagen Group locations in 18 countries are participating in the development program. Following the completion of their apprenticeship or a dual course of studies, career entrants can take part in the program if they have up to 5 years of practical experience and above-average performance and development potential.

At their new location, participants work in production or in a specialist department and can exchange views with mentors on site. For example, countries where assignments are possible include Argentina, China, Mexico, Spain, the USA, Poland and Portugal. Participants from other countries can also be assigned to Germany. Currently, 79 young people from Germany and other countries are participating.

Laura Lange, the 500th participant, completed her apprenticeship as a warehouse logistics specialist in Wolfsburg in July and has been assigned to Autoeuropa in Portugal since October. She is working at the Palmela plant, near Lisbon.