Royal visit at Audi Brussels

His Majesty the King paid an official visit to Audi Brussels today. The visit was prompted by the monarch’s interest in the Dual Learning training programme. In Belgium, Audi Brussels is a pioneer in the provision of vocational training in which the practical component closely reflects the working world. King Philippe also learnt about the first fully electric SUV in the history of Audi. The series production of the Audi e-tron was launched in September for the global market exclusively at Audi Brussels. The Flemish, Walloon and Brussels ministers of Education, Hilde Crevits, Marie-Martine Schyns and Didier Gosuin were also present during the visit.

At the Audi Brussels training centre, the Belgian King met students who are completing their training there as installation and maintenance technicians. Thirty-four students are currently on the Dual Learning programme at Audi Brussels. These talented young people come from two partner schools with which Audi Brussels has been working closely since 2012. The king saw how the students learn techniques in the robot training space as part of their programme. The eminent visitor was curious about the students’ employment opportunities. He spoke directly to them, asked various questions and was impressed by their expertise.

The king takes a keen interest in targeted training for young people in the business world. In the past, the Belgian Royal Family have undertaken a study tour in the Federal Republic of Germany and Switzerland, together with educational experts, in order to learn about the benefits of ‘Dual Learning’ on the spot. This afternoon, the King will chair a symposium at the Royal Palace in Brussels on the principal theme of improved occupational integration of young people.
Last week, Audi Brussels received an award as an attractive employer from the Top Employer Institute for the fourth time, in recognition of its work on employee development and training. One of the main reasons for the award was the efficient planning of trainee supervision at all Audi Brussels departments.
Erik Prieels, Director General for Human Resources: ‘The decision taken in 2012 to train young personnel in collaboration with two partner schools was the right decision. With this successful Dual Learning programme, we offer young talent not just thorough training in a modern setting, but also the chance of an attractive job. In the future we wish to extend this form of training to other competencies.’ The vocational training for technicians provided by Audi Brussels and the two partner schools from Halle and Sint-Pieters-Woluwe is also the perfect response to the current shortage of skilled workers.

Since the first Dual Learning diplomas were awarded at Audi Brussels in 2014, most of the students who have come through the programme have found work as installation and maintenance technicians at Audi Brussels. During his visit to the plant, King Philippe also talked to four of the first wave of Dual Learning participants. These specialist workers are now employed in the Body Shop and Assembly Departments.

His Majesty the King was impressed by the transformation process that the plant has undergone since his last visit in 2016. In the past two and a half years of conversion work, the plant has completely transformed itself into an e-mobility site, and has prepared for the production of the Audi e-tron electric SUV. In addition to the large-scale structural and construction work at the plant, an extensive qualification process has also taken place.

Employees have received more than 200,000 hours of training to learn the latest technologies needed for the production of a fully electric vehicle. Patrick Danau, Audi Brussels plant director, summed up the reaction: ‘We’re delighted about this visit and the Royal Family’s appreciation. His Majesty’s interest is a valuable recognition of the hard work that our employees, the social partners and the management of Audi have done in recent years to make the series production of the Audi e-tron possible.’