We counter economic risks as well as changes in the market and competitive situation with a range of instruments that help the Group to remain flexible, even with fluctuating order intake – whether orders decline or demand for our products increases. These include time accounts which are filled when overtime is necessary and reduced through time off in quiet periods, enabling our factories to adjust their capacity to the production volume and to “breathe” with measures such as extra shifts, closure days and flexible shift models. The use of temporary workers also allows us to plan more flexibly. All of these measures help the Volkswagen Group to generally maintain a stable permanent workforce even when orders fluctuate.
The technical expertise and individual commitment of employees are essential prerequisites for the success of the Volkswagen Group. Our strategic, end-to-end human resources development strategy gives all employees attractive training and development opportunities, with particular emphasis being placed on increasing technical expertise in the Company’s different vocational groups. By boosting our training programs, particularly at our international locations, we are able to adequately address the challenges of technological change.
We are continuously expanding our recruitment tools. Our systematic talent relationship management, for example, enables us to make contact with talented candidates from strategically relevant target groups at an early stage and to build a long-term relationship between them and the Group.
In addition to the standard dual vocational training, programs such as our StIP integrated degree and traineeship scheme ensure a pipeline of highly qualified and motivated employees. We counter the risk that knowledge will be lost as a result of employee fluctuation and retirement with intensive, department-specific training. We have also established a base of senior experts in the Group. With this additional measure, we use the valuable knowledge of our experienced specialists who have retired from Volkswagen. Organizing efficient knowledge hubs – for example the academies dedicated to the various vocational groups under the umbrella of the Volkswagen Group Academy – is becoming increasingly important, particularly where retiring staff are not directly replaced by young specialists. Volkswagen is working on knowledge relays to ensure experience is passed on even when the chain of succession is broken.