BMW Group recruits more than 1,100 apprentices

(PresseBox) ( Munich, )
The BMW Group will maintain a high number of new apprentices once again this year. In Germany alone, 1,080 young people will be starting their careers as apprentices with the BMW Group over the next few days. Worldwide that figure is 1.124.

A total of around 3,900 apprentices are currently training with the BMW Group at 27 locations in 24 countries, including about 3,450 in Germany. 650 of the young people who completed their apprenticeships this year were offered permanent employment at the BMW Group. Of those, about 65 took advantage of the opportunity to continue their career at a location abroad (in the UK, US or China).

With an apprenticeship quota of five percent, the BMW Group remains among the leaders in the automobile industry and demonstrates its longterm commitment to vocational training.

Promoting young talent in future fields of activity

In response to the growing shortage of qualified employees - and engineers in particular - the BMW Group is to expand its "dual" vocational training programme leading to an advanced technical college entrance qualification (DBFH). The programme makes it possible to attain the technical college entrance qualification while training to become a skilled tradesman. This allows participants to begin earning an engineering degree directly after completing their vocational training. The BMW Group's special "DBFH Alumni" programme provides support throughout the entire engineering course. Topperforming apprentices may pursue a degree course sponsored by the BMW Group at selected partner universities as part of the "SpeedUp" Bachelor degree programme.

The BMW Group's DBFH programme is tailored to students with a school leaving certificate and is offered in six technical trades (mechatronics engineer, industrial engineering electrician, industrial mechanic production mechanic, motor vehicle body and vehicle construction mechanic and automotive mechatronics engineer); one commercial occupation (industrial clerk); and an IT profession (IT officer). With 280 apprentices this year, there are now ten times as many recruits for this apprenticeship as in 2004, when 25 new entrants started out on this route.

New training and qualification initiatives

With the opening of the BMW Group education centre at the company's Munich location, vocational, further and advanced training will for the first time be under joint management. This concept of "education from a single source" will mean better coordination on the one hand - and also generate synergies through the use of shared resources.

One example of new training offerings is in hybrid technology. This field requires a new approach - both to technological processes and to matters of occupational safety - since it involves highvoltage technology. For this reason, the education centre has developed an "Electrician for Set Tasks on Hybrid Vehicles" training module and integrated it into the "dual" vocational training programme: All apprentices who learn the trade of automotive mechatronics engineer receive this training as a matter of course and are therefore qualified to work on vehicles equipped with highvoltage technology. Once they pass the skilled worker examination and complete the hybrid training during their third year, apprentices receive a special certificate. The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) awarded this training concept the annual "Hermann Schmidt Prize" for innovative approaches in daytoday vocational training practice.

Apprentices who have completed their vocational training, and who choose to work abroad, now have a number of new options: They have the opportunity to attend language seminars at short notice and combine these with intercultural training. Highly motivated technical apprentices also have the chance to earn qualifications in technical purchasing or as development designers and acquire the specific knowhow they need in vocational and advanced training seminars.

"Apprenticeship entry maturity" for candidates without a training place

The BMW Group also gives young people who have been unable to find a training place because of their poor school record or lack of interpersonal skills another chance. This autumn, as part of the "National Pact for Training and Young Skilled Staff", in conjunction with the German Federal Employment Agency, 70 candidates will begin an introductory training course of 8 months with the BMW Group. The aim is to motivate these young people, with intensive support from their trainers, to obtain the necessary prerequisites for completing an apprenticeship. This concept has been successful: Of 28 young people who participated in 2009, 18 will start an apprenticeship at the BMW Group or at other companies this year.

Besides the 269 young people starting their training in Munich, apprentices are also spread across six other production facilities in Germany, namely Dingolfing (252), Regensburg (86), Leipzig (40), Landshut (30), Berlin (20) and Eisenach (3). A further 380 young people are embarking upon their careers at the BMW Group's local German branches. At the BMW facility at Steyr in Austria, apprenticeships will begin for 20 young people and another 24 will start out in the UK: 13 at the MINI facility in Oxford, 3 in engine production at Hams Hall and 8 at Rolls Royce in Goodwood.

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