One can't help but get the impression that at Škoda, they're doing the right thing. Do something good, and talk about it. By 'good' is meant, the problem that is reaching all the slowly ageing industrial nations, namely the recruitment of new, young workers. What's the point of building up capacities if afterwards, they can't be fully exploited?
In addition, Industry 4.0 is also not the solution to all the problems, because even the cleverest robot can't solve every problem. Indeed, the Škoda-idea certainly has more facets. However, let's take this step by step. Already a year ago, there was an 'apprentice car', the Citijet, which was developed by 16 apprentices on the basis of the Citigo. The completion can be seen in the time-lapse video below.
This year there are 23 learners, of which two are women, who, between November and May, have manufactured the FUNstar on the basis of the Fabia. The result was presented for the first time at the GTI-meeting at Lake Wörth in Austria. In the meantime, the meeting is so heavily sponsored by the VW-concern, that the real fans gather there a week before it actually starts.
Even though Škoda doesn't have a car with the description 'GTI' in their programme, they still fit in well here, because in the meantime, everything that has ever had anything to do with the VW-concern or with the brand name VW, is represented. Apart from that, in the town of Reifnitz there is the so-called GTI-monument, a rock from up north which was hewn into a lifesized Golf-GTI, this time however, by stone-mason apprentices.
The fact that the new car has special wheel-rims and that the 1,4 kW performance of the sound-system is almost enough to power a vehicle, was to be expected. Indeed somewhat surprising is, that it's a pick-up, with the wheel-housings jutting into the cargo area and in the angular design of the new Fabia. Fortunately, this year the apprentices will not only combine their collective knowledge, but will also be guided by the chief designer Jozef Kaban and his team.
At this point, we have discovered, that Škoda Cars operates its own trade school and, before we in Germany, so cockily assume that VW introduced our dual-system of schooling together with in-house training to the Czech Republic, we must (quite happily) ascertain, that this trade school has been there since 1927, thus long before the takeover by VW.
They have the really considerable number of 880 scholars, of which 12,5% are female. The 'automobile' field offers 13 various educational directions, which after three years and after completing the journeymans examination, can also, after four years, culminate in matriculation. At the moment, there are 65 people with these qualifications doing post graduate studies.
At the same time, the presentation at the GTI-meeting in nearby Austria, is also an opportunity for Škoda to attract new and motivated personnel for their training facilities. Pretty smart, what? 04/15