SEAT has taken a giant step in the professional growth opportunities it offers its employees to prepare them for the future challenges facing the automotive industry. The company has launched the innovative training programme “Always Learning”, which is the only one of its kind in Europe’s corporate environment, making more than 150 courses designed for the future available to all its professionals, who can freely choose what to study.
The programme makes training available to the company’s more than 15,000 employees in areas specifically related with digitalisation and new technologies so they can organise their own learning in order to cope with the transformation of the sector and the evolution of future jobs.
With this programme, which rounds off the company’s current educational offer, SEAT is putting a fundamental shift on the focus of corporate training by enabling employees to take control of their own training choices, even though the content has no direct relation to their current work. In this way, the company reaffirms its commitment to employment and offers each employee additional possibilities of professional growth.
Laura Carnicero, who is responsible for Training in the company, pointed out that “at SEAT we are aware that in the future there will be a whole range of professions that still do not exist today and our people have to be ready for them. In addition to the programmes we already have, the added value of ‘Always Learning’ is that it caters to employees’ individual motivations. With this innovative new programme, SEAT takes its commitment to the development and professional growth of our employees to the next level”. In 2018, SEAT invested 21 million euros in training.
The “Always Learning” courses enhance the company’s educational possibilities and are the third pillar underpinning its training strategy. The other two pillars feature the range of courses aimed at honing the skills needed by employees in their current job, and a second group of subjects related with employee transformation to furnish them with skills for future professions, in the context of the major transformation of the automotive industry. In 2018 SEAT increased the number of courses focussing on topics relevant to the future by 237%.
The goal of this initiative is to address the interests of SEAT employees by offering them the opportunity of studying a wide range of subjects, especially in the scope of transformation and digitalisation, as well as developing soft skills and learning new professions. The courses are offered in collaboration with the Coursera platform and the Foxize academy, and SEAT is exploring further cooperation with additional partners. Participants who complete them will obtain their corresponding certification, which SEAT will add to their career details.
More than 150 online and classroom courses are initially being offered, and both the number and nature of the courses may evolve or be extended according to employee demand. The subject material ranges from technical programmes in data science, machine learning or business analytics to those aimed at developing professional skills such as agile methodologies or project management. The course offering is under constant review and can be adapted to the specific needs of each professional.
The programme has two approaches – one group of courses are typically of short duration and dynamic, focussing on the individually selected skills required by employees to enhance their career profile, and a second group features longer, more advanced level courses that offer a university degree. In addition, the programme will help the company detect in-house talent, as any employee can select training in any subject in order to strengthen their capacities. The employees can decide for themselves which of the available courses they want to follow outside normal working hours without any kind of prerequisite.
SEAT employees must register via a platform to access the courses. In its first three weeks of operation more than 1.000 people signed up for the new programme ‘Always Learning’.
Another step in the company’s transformation
SEAT is aware that technology is advancing at breakneck speed and that it is essential to acquire the necessary digital skills in order to evolve with it at the same rate. In this regard, SEAT recently implemented the Digital Skills Program, which aims to improve the technological skills of the employees. This requires workers to take a digital competencies test to evaluate their current level. The results, which are kept confidential, are used to create a customised training programme for each employee, enabling them to progress at their own pace and from their own starting level of knowledge.