Wolfsburg/Crewe,  25th November 2011: The Volkswagen Group has just presented its “Best Apprentice Award” to its top young achievers from all over the world. Bentley’s Louis Warburton, Apprentice Ambassador for the UK’s National Apprenticeship Service and a junior engineer, was one of the 27 apprentices from twelve countries recognised for outstanding professional competence. The ceremony took place on the occasion of a meeting of the Volkswagen Group Board of Management and the Global Group Works Council in Stuttgart.

Best Apprentice Award

The awards were presented by Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Dr. Horst Neumann, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Human Resources, and Bernd Osterloh, President of the Global Group Works Council.

Prof. Winterkorn underscored: “On the road to becoming the world’s most sustainable automaker Volkswagen needs every single employee – particularly tomorrow’s top performers. The Volkswagen Group brands will shine even brighter in future with committed and motivated young employees like those we are honouring today.”

Dr. Neumann emphasised, “For Volkswagen’s continued success we must master profound changes in fields such as lightweight construction, vehicle electronics and electric traction. That can only be achieved with much dedication and the highest specialist competence. These apprentices set the benchmark in this context. At the same time, the introduction of transnational training standards is paying off.” This year, the Volkswagen Group is training 12,145 apprentices worldwide, with 8,736 of these based in Germany.

In the UK, Bentley has seen a 300 per cent increase in apprenticeship applications in 2011. Christine Gaskell, Bentley Motors’ Member of the Board for Personnel, said, “Bentley has always been strongly committed to skills development and apprenticeships and is very active in promoting careers in the industry. This award for Louis is testament to his own passion and enthusiasm and to the commitment of the Company in developing the very best from all our staff.”

Osterloh said: “We are very proud of our apprentices and their achievements. The young colleagues we are honouring today make us very optimistic about the further development of our company. The Works Council will continue to advocate investing in training all over the world, thereby safeguarding employment perspectives for young men and women.”

Apart from attending the “Best Apprentice Award” ceremony, the young people are also taking part in a programme spanning several days. They have already visited the Baden-Württemberg capital city of Stuttgart and the Porsche plant, museum and training centre for automotive mechatronics fitters. A driver safety training session will also be part of the programme.