The Volkswagen Group Friday presented its “Best Apprentice Awards 2018” to its best apprentices from all over the world, honoring their outstanding performance and professional competence, including Jesus Espinosa from Chattanooga. The prizes for the 46 young talents with 16 vocations were presented by the Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Dr. Herbert Diess, the Member of the Board of Management with responsibility for Human Resources, Gunnar Kilian, and the President of the Global Group Works Council, Bernd Osterloh.
The 14 young women and 32 young men were honored at a ceremony held at the CongressPark in Wolfsburg.
“We are proud that Jesus Espinosa represents our apprenticeship program in Chattanooga as a Best Apprentice in Germany,” said Ilker Subasi, Volkswagen Chattanooga's apprenticeship program manager. “He is currently working as a specialist at our plant. His story shows how our apprenticeship program is a route to success if you’re willing to put the work in and make the most of this opportunity.”
“You have every reason to be proud because you are among the world’s best apprentices of the Volkswagen Group," said Dr. Diess at the award ceremony. "In the future too, we will need a team that is motivated, competent and committed, and also welcomes change. If you want to keep pace with the major challenges of our times, you must demonstrate flexibility and be ready to accept change."
Mr. Kilian said, “Volkswagen offers almost 20,000 young people throughout the world excellent training in about 60 vocations and 50 dual courses of study. We have successfully transferred dual vocational training to locations throughout the world and train our budding specialists at our plants across the globe on the basis of this model. The award winners have made exemplary use of this training and laid a firm foundation for a successful career. Dual vocational training also lays solid groundwork in an era of rapid technological change which calls for continuous advanced training.”
This year’s Best Apprentice Award was the 18th of its kind presented by the Volkswagen Group and a total of 523 apprentices have been honored since 2001.
Mr. Osterloh said, “I congratulate all the winners of the Best Apprentice Awards from the Volkswagen Group who have come to Wolfsburg this week. Your outstanding performance is also the result of the high-performance vocational training offered throughout our Group. This success clearly shows that we must not make any sacrifice in terms of vocational training despite all the current savings programs. Vocational training develops the specialists of the future. This is an essential prerequisite for shaping change together in the digital era with respect to development, production and mobility.”
Eighteen 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. Twenty-one of the Best Apprentice Award winners will be starting a degree course to develop their knowledge and skills in greater depth. Three of the award-winners from Germany will be receiving two years of individual support in their professional family within the “talent group for young specialists.”