The Volkswagen Group has opened its doors to three new female rising stars, to show them the breadth of opportunities available in the Group and automotive industry, and encourage more girls to consider a career in the sector.
The three girls (aged 17) from local schools in Milton Keynes were selected for the Executive Job Shadowing programme following visits to their schools by members of the Volkswagen Group’s Board of Management earlier in the summer.
Members of the Board of Management visited Ousedale School, St Paul’s Catholic School and the Milton Keynes Academy in June to deliver presentations on the Group and the industry. Human Resources Director, Penny Burnett, who visited Ousedale School, said: ‘Talking to the girls at Ousedale was a fantastic experience. It was very different to the audiences I’m used to talking to in my everyday work, but I was delighted to see how engaged and interested they were. The questions they posed demonstrated there is no lack of passion for careers in the automotive sector; they just need to understand the variety of roles available and what that career path looks like.’
As well as VWG imparting knowledge to the schools, the students were also able to give their feedback to the speakers. Despite their young age, they had strong views on what the automotive industry would look like in the future, and the skill sets that would be needed by employees in the sector in future.
These visits were arranged as part of a collaboration between the Automotive 30% Club, a voluntary group of MDs and CEOs working to achieve a gender balanced workforce within the automotive industry of which the Volkswagen Group is an active member, and Speakers for Schools
The three girls selected following the school visits had the opportunity to spend a week in the company’s head office in Milton Keynes and experience five ‘days in the life’ of an executive. Here they learnt about the different roles available within the organisation and had the chance to really see what it’s really like to work in the Group. They also visited the Group’s National Learning Centre in Milton Keynes, Customer Services Centre in Leeds, the Audi Centre in Wakefield and a marketing agency to see how these enterprises work together with head office.
Burnett concluded: ‘I’m really proud to be supporting the Automotive 30% Club and Speakers for Schools through our presentations and job shadowing programme. Inspiring and finding new talent for the future is a really big part of our Driven Women project and this is a great place to start.’
Commenting on her week, Bethan, an A-Level student from St Paul’s Catholic School, said: ‘I really loved the work experience placement. I had a lot of fun discovering the different roles in the Volkswagen Group. Everyone was so friendly, helpful and enthusiastic. It has really inspired me to consider properly a career in the automotive industry and to encourage other women to do the same.’