8/31/2017 | 1 MINUTE READ

Audi Takes Manufacturing Seriously

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When you think about German cars—be they a Golf or an S Class or something in between—chances are you have a sense that a fundamental characteristic of each and every vehicle is a certain higher level of technical proficiency than you might find in a car built by manufacturers located anywhere else in the world.

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When you think about German cars—be they a Golf or an S Class or something in between—chances are you have a sense that a fundamental characteristic of each and every vehicle is a certain higher level of technical proficiency than you might find in a car built by manufacturers located anywhere else in the world.

That’s because German companies take manufacturing seriously.

In the U.S. there is a lot of arm-waving and politicizing of the subject.

But there is one problem when it comes to phrases like “Bring jobs back to America”: having the people who are sufficiently skilled to take those jobs and do them at world-class levels.

Vocational training at Audi 2017

This struck me as I read about how there will be 804 young people who are going to start vocational training on September 11 at the Audi facilities in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, Germany. Approximately 30 percent of the trainees are women.

There is voc ed in 20 occupations.

There are apprenticeships in mechatronics, production mechanics and auto mechatronics.

And that’s not all.

Thirty-nine of these people will undertake dual courses of study, working toward a master’s or bachelor’s degree. They’ll be looking at subjects including robotics, cognition and intelligence. They will also spend time in “practical periods,” as in working at the Audi facilities.

Those who complete the program are offered a job at Audi. And should some of these young people decide post-program that they want to pursue additional education, then the offer still stands after they’ve accomplished that.

What’s more, according to Dieter Omert, head of vocational training and specialist competence development at Audi, “In view of rapid technological changes, our apprentices will continually participate in further training and development after their apprenticeships.”

Want to know why there is that sense of technical proficiency? This example at Audi is a large part of it.

And until this sort of thing is embraced elsewhere, no amount of political posturing is going to make a difference in the abilities to actually manufacture world-class products.