Dual Academy Bratislava
Ingenics InterimManagement helps to start up Dual Academy Bratislava
Tried-and-tested tools for site development, employee qualification, and factory planning
The newly established Dual Academy Bratislava opened its doors according to schedule in September 2016 at the start of the Slovakian academic year. Ingenics helped to launch the project, which was commissioned by Volkswagen, Siemens, Matador, and the capital region. Once again, the tools and methods of Ingenics proved their worth.
- Definition of project content and basic conditions
- Structuring of planning activities
- Definition of milestones
- Development of a reporting system
- Development of a project control system and coordination of administrative requirements
- Team building
Only a few countries have a tradition of an educational system that combines general knowledge and professional skills in a single course of study. However, the dual system concept is a key factor when it comes to the success of German industry.
Since automotive manufacturing is also the backbone of the industrial sector in Slovakia, companies are constantly looking for well-trained technicians, mechanical engineers, and mechanics. Be that as it may, some 90 percent of young people today attend a school of a more academic nature and intend to study at a university. For that reason, it is something of a challenge to provide the automotive industry with a sufficient number of qualified workers – an explicit goal in the country.
To find a way out of this dilemma, Volkswagen Slovakia a.s. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG) developed the idea of dual training based on the German model. The new Duálna Akadémia was established in the capital, where Volkswagen operates one of its most efficient factories.
In order to ensure a broad scope for the project, Volkswagen is cooperating with Siemens Slovakia, automotive supplier Matador, and the Bratislava Self-Governing Region (Bratislavsky kraj). Bratislavsky kraj proposed linking the new academy to an existing secondary school that specializes in automotive training, which the Volkswagen “consortium” then outfitted with new workshops.
Once project initiators had formulated their conceptual ideas, they called on Ingenics to carry out steps necessary for the academy to be up and running by September 2016. They entrusted Ingenics mainly because of the consulting firm’s experience in projects concerning site and factory planning, production optimization, and logistics.
It therefore fell to Jörg Halbauer, project manager, to set up the project by May 2016, finding an appropriate planning structure and developing a reporting system. He identified key areas for action and where risks lay. Most important, however, he also brought all partners together for the first time and ensured that contracts were signed in good time. Operators are investing nine million euros in the academy, purchasing some 30 new systems. So far, contracts have been agreed with 15 teachers and 19 technical trainers.
The intention was for the Dual Academy to have 60 students in one class. However, following huge demand, 100 pupils were enrolled in four classes in September 2016 – mechanical engineers, automation technicians, industrial mechanics, and tool technicians. In courses lasting four years, trainees gain certification from the Slovak–German Chamber of Industry and Commerce and one of the best professional routes into the automotive industry. They come into contact with state-of-the-art technology and processes, learning everything one needs to know about modern car factories. Some practical training takes place in the workshops of production company Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava, while internships in foreign companies of the Volkswagen Group are also possible.
There is a careful balance between theory and practice. The present ratio is estimated to be 70:30 in favor of practical experience. Following successful completion of the course with a professional certificate in addition to an Abitur qualification and an internationally recognized certificate in German for professional purposes, graduates are guaranteed jobs.
Once Ingenics handed over the reins to the new academy directors, it was apparent how carefully various milestones had been achieved. Academy Director Jana Široká, who had been appointed by Volkswagen at an early stage but was busy working at another Volkswagen factory, recognized that punctual opening of the institution was thanks in part to the commitment of Ingenics.