Volkswagen India has signed an MoU with Symbiosis Skills and Open University (SSOU), Pune, whereby it has donated a Vento to the students of the university. The Vento will be used in the SSOU lab to educate students enrolled in the automobile stream.

SSOU is Maharashtra’s first skill-development university to offer various courses in the sector. To address the skills gap in the manufacturing sector, the Vento was handed over for the students to have hands-on learning. It will be used to impart training and teach car technicalities like electrical systems, vehicle dynamics, safety engineering, strength of material, etc.

The Vento was branded in the ‘Think Blue. Factory’ colours – a Volkswagen programme that is focused on efficiency improvements in production and environmentally-aware energy supplies addressing all employees worldwide. As part of this programme, the Volkswagen Pune plant has achieved more than 30 per cent environmental impact reduction by the end of last year. The target of the plant is to achieve, by year 2025, a 45 per cent reduction in the impact on environment due to manufacturing processes.

CB’s questions on the exact factors that are included in ‘environmental impact’, number of people trained at Volkswagen Academy, and future collaborations with SSOU did not receive any response.

In a press release shared with CB, Dr Andreas Lauermann, president and MD, Volkswagen India, said, ‘In order to take the next step towards becoming a global hub for the automobile sector, India needs to acknowledge this skill-gap issue and take collective measures by involving all relevant stakeholders. As corporate, we are more attuned to the changing market dynamics and have therefore taken this initiative to do our bit to ensure India’s young are prepared with the right set of skills to face new challenges in the auto industry.’

Volkswagen Academy and SSOU had collaborated earlier this year to create a module for Volkswagen workmen promoted as front-level supervisors. The focus of the module is on bridging the gap between formal diploma education and actual competency by developing business communication skills, better in-depth understanding of organisational and manufacturing systems, etc.