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Young engineers from Southern Europe start career with Volkswagen after “StartUp Europe” trainee program

92 young women and men from Italy, Spain and Portugal have already received an employment contract About 7,000 applications received since program launch in 2012 With its “StartUp Europe” trainee program, the Volkswagen Group has already enabled 136 young people from Spain, Portugal and Italy to gain international experience. 92 of the young engineers have … Continued

  • 92 young women and men from Italy, Spain and Portugal have already received an employment contract
  • About 7,000 applications received since program launch in 2012

With its “StartUp Europe” trainee program, the Volkswagen Group has already enabled 136 young people from Spain, Portugal and Italy to gain international experience. 92 of the young engineers have now received employment contracts within the Group, while other budding talents are currently completing the program which was especially tailored for them. Volkswagen launched StartUp Europe in 2012 for young graduates from Spain and Portugal and extended the program to Italy in 2014.

Dr. Horst Neumann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft responsible for Human Resources, says: “In Southern Europe, it is difficult for young graduates to find a promising career entry opportunity even with a good degree. With its StartUp Europe trainee program, Volkswagen has assumed responsibility and is offering outstanding prospects to young engineers who have demonstrated good performance.”

The Chairman of the Group and General Works Council, Bernd Osterloh, emphasizes: “Right from the start, the StartUp Europe trainee program was very popular with young graduates from Spain, Portugal and Italy. Volkswagen has offered them an opportunity of starting their careers with a globally active industrial group following successful participation in the program. The employment contracts for former trainees show that participation is worthwhile.”

Since it was launched, the StartUp Europe trainee program has attracted considerable interest among university graduates in Spain, Portugal and Italy. About 7,000 young men and women have already applied to participate in the program.

Following a successful application, program participants are initially employed for two years. They spend the first few months of the program working in their home country before being assigned to a German Group company for up to 21 months. The participants benefit from seminars and language courses which make it easier for them to start work within the Group.

The first group of trainees started with SEAT in Spain 2012 and completed the program in 2014. In 2013 graduates joined the program via VW Navarra in Spain and the first Portuguese graduates gained experience within the Group via Volkswagen Autoeuropa in Portugal. The first trainee program for Italian engineers started in 2014. Volkswagen Group companies Seat, VW Navarra, VW Autoeuropa, Ducati, Lamborghini, Italdesign Giugiaro and VW Group Italia are all taking part in the StartUp Europe program. In Germany, participants work for Volkswagen and Audi.

The trainees also included Lucia Escorial Lopez (30), a chemical engineer from Valladolid, 200 km to the north of Madrid. She is now working in Group Quality Assurance, in the International Supplier Audit Coordination Department . She says: “I wanted to work for a large, successful organization. The crisis in Spain provided me with an opportunity of working for the Volkswagen Group. The selection process is very intensive, but my commitment proved to be worthwhile. During my training assignment in Wolfsburg, I was able to work on a cross-brand project and learnt a lot. People in Germany work very efficiently, which really impressed me. I was able to contribute some Spanish flexibility and a certain lightness of touch to the team. I very much hope that I will have a successful career with Volkswagen. At the moment, I am starting by qualifying as an auditor.”

Lucia Escorial Lopez is a member of the team of Wolfgang Hering, Head of International Supplier Audit Coordination in Group Quality Assurance. He emphasizes: “The StartUp Europe trainees are highly committed. They enrich Volkswagen with their interdisciplinary specialist expertise and broaden their teams’ horizons. I would recommend all my colleagues to take a StartUp Europe trainee on board.

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