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VW to build on training success

Volkswagen Group Training Services will focus on measuring success of its training in an attempt to improve its offering.

Measurement is predominantly based on return on investment on all of its programmes.

For example, it will look at whether a salesman who has received training at its Milton Keynes-based centre has markedly improved sales performance since attending a course.

The group, which won best training programme at last year’s AM Awards, is undertaking an ongoing review process for all its brands’ training to ensure it meets what the network needs for both commercial and technical tuition.

David George, head of learning at VW Group Learning Services, said training qualifications had to be demonstrated in the workplace.

“Right across the board, we are implementing a full return measurement process. If something is not working we will change it,” he added.

It has also just introduced a new learning management system which allows the network to manage its training programme in one place. This includes seeing who has booked what training and when, course availability as well as access to e-learning.

The centre, an airy atmospheric purpose-built building, opened in 2005 after it was decided to pull resources together for all VW Group brands.

This replaced separate academies for Volkswagen, Seat, Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
It also runs VW Group’s paint and body repair scheme as well as apprenticeship programmes.

The latter are conducted at a site in Nottingham.
Around 300 courses are on offer, including leadership, management and personal development.

The centre’s most demanded programmes are induction and sales courses and product launches.

George said the frequency of training courses offered had been reduced in December 2008 as a result of market conditions but there were no plans to alter these further.

With potential to train more than 23,000 people from its networks, it delivers around 2,500-3,000 days training a month. This equates to between 300-400 delegates visiting in the same time period.

When asked if he wanted to see growth in training numbers, George said it was not a business venture and that it was about improving performance and the value of what it’s offering, rather than focusing on increasing trainee figures.

George said the aim was to “have people demanding our product because we’ll be giving them enough evidence that it’s worth investing in learning and development”.

Training course costs are subsidised by the relevant brand and “it is a very good offer compared to third party training” added George.

The running of VW Group Learning Services had a major overhaul last March when Carter & Carter, its training provider, went bust.

Its facility management provider Serco took over training responsibility.

In January this year, VT Training, which also runs its apprenticeship programme, won a three-year contract to run the technical training division at the site.

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