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Best Apprentice Award 2016: Volkswagen Group honors its best apprentices from all over the world

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  • Group CEO Matthias Müller: «The automotive industry is more exciting for young people than ever before.”
  • Awards for 45 young talents from 19 countries on 5 continents
  • 21 award winners to start a degree course following their apprenticeship

Wolfsburg, December 8, 2016 – The Volkswagen Group today presented its «Best Apprentice Awards 2016» to its best apprentices from all over the world, honoring their outstanding performance and professional competence. The prizes for the 45 young talents with 16 vocations were presented by the Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Matthias Müller, the Member of the Board of Management responsible for Human Resources, Organization and IT, Dr. Karlheinz Blessing, and the President of the Global Group Works Council, Bernd Osterloh.

The nine young women and 36 young men were honored at a ceremony held at the CongressPark in Wolfsburg following a joint meeting of the Group Board of Management and the Global Group Works Council.


«The automotive industry is more exciting for young people than ever before,» said Müller at the presentation ceremony. «Like the entire industry, our company faces major changes: autonomous driving, e-mobility, innovative mobility concepts, digitalization and connectivity will mean that we will need to update our knowledge and skills at an increasingly rapid pace.» Müller congratulated the award winners and said: «I am proud of you. Please remain inquisitive and open to new developments and discover your opportunities in the changes that will take place.»

«First-class vocational training is more important than ever before,» Blessing emphasized. «Within the Volkswagen Group, apprentices learn how to work with new technologies and to link them with each other right from the start. Digitalization and connectivity will also transform the vocations in which our award-winners are among the best.» Blessing told the recently qualified young professionals selected for the awards: «With your training, you have laid the foundation for your professional success. Take advantage of our training opportunities or get to know our Group even better during a year abroad.»

Osterloh said: «Well-trained young women and men are the future of the Volkswagen Group. This is why all the money spent on vocational and advanced training is well-invested. With our dual vocational training which has been successfully implemented throughout the world, we have laid the foundation for the good development of our company and assumed social responsibility at our locations. The 45 apprentices we are honoring here today bear witness to the success of our approach.»


20 of the award winners had already been honored in their home countries for their commitment to their companies and for their knowledge and skills in their training vocations. Almost half of the Best Apprentice Award winners will be starting a degree course to develop their knowledge and skills in greater depth. The electrician of repair and mechanical assembly of the production area of the Volkswagen Group Rus plant in Kaluga Igor Gushchin was awarded by Volkswagen Group, and also took the 3rd place in the regional championship WorldSkills Russia. A further seven young people will be receiving two years of individual support in their professional family within the «talent group for young specialists”. Five young people will be taking part in the «Wanderjahre» (years abroad) program. They will be working for a year at a Group location in another country.

This year’s Best Apprentice Award was the 16th of its kind presented by the Volkswagen Group and a total of 431 apprentices have been honored since 2001. The group is currently training about 19,500 young women and men in about 60 vocations and 50 dual courses of study.

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