Training has been a priority at voestalpine Automotive Components in Bunschoten for over 70 years. However, time does not stand still at the site, and so the company training center has been updated to meet future requirements. Since its opening, the site in Bunschoten has provided ideal conditions for tomorrow’s skilled workers.
The training center at voestalpine Automotive Components in Bunschoten may be 70 years old, but this was no reason to alter its fundamental structure. Instead, the aim was to update the training methods and techniques to reflect current practices and meet future requirements.
High quality training for young workers
There was also a focus on ensuring that the training is attractive, to generate interest in the company among tomorrow’s young workforce. After successful completion, the site now boasts an excellent educational center, as Wim H., a trainer at the Automotive Academy, confirms: “We adapt the training programs to reflect changes in production methods, and have moved away from traditional classroom teaching formats to more flexible, didactic methods using a variety of channels and media. For example, the smartphone camera can function as the trainer’s “eye” when pupils want them to be directly involved in a project they are working on. This gives the trainer the chance to offer immediate comments and corrections, just as in a modern production facility.”
These broad-reaching changes needed to be reflected in a new name for the center. In light of the site’s most important customer segment, on June 15, 2022, the former company training center was officially renamed the “Automotive Academy Bunschoten”.
"I am convinced that learning from experience, receiving feedback, and being allowed to make mistakes offer a highly effective route to personal development. And the best thing is that this process never stops: you’re never too old to learn."
You never stop learning
The innovative range of training programs put this theory into practice. In addition to the three-year apprenticeships and continued professional development for employees, the Automotive Academy also opens its doors to external participants who can pay to take courses in welding. Training at the site places a strong emphasis on practical application as clearly reflected in the academy’s new equipment. In the Robotic Skills Lab, two real industrial robots and virtual reality are used in teaching. Training covers not only basic topics such as industrial robotics, pneumatics, hydraulics, and welding technology, but also those which will feature heavily in tomorrow’s workplace, such as automation, electrical engineering, and 3D modelling. “We use the new equipment to familiarize students with the latest technologies, to test products and processes, and to ensure they are ready for market,” explains Human Resources manager Lot A.
Unsurprisingly, implementing such major changes to the training center initially faced the site management with significant challenges. As a result, however, it is now possible to offer customized training for each particular target group. This, in turn, is seen as providing the ideal conditions for the future, with the academy offering training relevant to the company’s customers, production processes, and associated challenges.