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Dual education in Italy: successful start for social project of Audi subsidiary in Ducati and Lamborghini

Ducati and Lamborghini, Italian companies part of Audi AG group, have celebrated a milestone with their joint social project “Dual Education System Italy,” which has been created in cooperation with the Volkswagen Workforce Foundation, the Italian Ministry for Teaching, Universities and Research, and the Ministry of Education of the region Emilia Romagna. The two companies are enabling young Italians, largely from socially disadvantaged families, to take the next important step of their dual education and training based on the German system. Following the first component of education in a college, the young people are now starting their practical training. For this purpose, Lamborghini and Ducati have set up modern training centers in their plants.

Since September 2014, Ducati and Lamborghini have been developing a new process for education and training in Italy. In cooperation with the two colleges Fioravanti Belluzzi and Aldini Valeriani in Bologna, the companies have established a two-year-joint education and training plan for 48 young people, in order to establish a dual concept between college and company. The program is primarily aimed at socially disadvantaged young people. At the start of the first practical phase at the Ducati and Lamborghini plants, the Board of Management Member for Human Resources at AUDI AG, Thomas Sigi, and the Board of Management Member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG, Luca de Meo, visited the new classrooms accompanied by Ducati Motor Holding CEO Claudio Domenicali and Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann.

“The project teams have made some amazing achievements with the construction of the training center,” stated Audi’s Board of Management Member for Human Resources, Thomas Sigi. “The members of the Audi family have once again shown what is possible in a short time when they work together. Thanks to this commitment, the young people can now experience their desired occupations in practice and can take the next step towards a secure future,” Sigi continued.

Luca de Meo, Board of Management Member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG: “Lamborghini and Ducati are two strong brands that stand for performance, quality and passion. Both companies also demonstrate these values when they have to build their teams of the future, pass on expertise, and imbue young people with their spirit of success.”

In advance of the practical phase, AUDI AG first locally trained eleven Italian trainers and project employees for their tasks, including the technical, didactic and pedagogical aspects. All of the participants in the social project will be able to work on the current Ducati and Lamborghini models during their training. The young people are currently training for three occupations: car mechatronic, motorcycle mechatronic and CNC mechanic, which has a focus on metalworking. After two years, they receive their official college certificate and a certificate from Ducati or Lamborghini, as well as state recognition of the program from the regional administrative office of Emilia Romagna.

Ducati Motor Holding CEO, Claudio Domenicali, stated that the dual training had a fundamental role in the Corporate Responsibility strategy of the company and of the Ducati Foundation: “DESI program is an important part of the path that sees Ducati committed with sustainable training tools for young people. With this innovative dual system of education we set up new standards in Italy und create various opportunities for the participants. The social program completes our innovative training concepts, such as the degree in Mechanical Engineering with Motor Vehicle specialization or our successful “Fisica in Moto”‑laboratory.”

Automobili Lamborghini President and CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, commented: “The DESI Project is part of a broad Corporate Social Responsibility strategy implemented in the last few years. Based on three pillars, economy, society and environment, it puts the accent on professional training. DESI, including our apprenticeship programs and our relationships with nearby schools and universities, develops the professional competences of socially disadvantaged juveniles by integrating them into a company’s organization and culture. Training means gaining a competitive advantage; a benefit for both the individual and the company.”

Gunnar Kilian, Chairman of the Volkswagen Employees’ Foundation and Secretary‑General of the Volkswagen General Works Council remarks: “We are very satisfied with how well the project is developing. In the new training centers, socially disadvantaged young people will receive first-class education and training. In this way, we are creating urgently required future prospects for Southern Europe.”

The Volkswagen Employees’ Foundation invested ?2 million in the “Dual Education System Italy” project, with another ?1 million from the Audi Group with its subsidiaries Ducati and Lamborghini. With this flagship project, Audi is making use of the experience gained in Hungary, Belgium and China. The company has already established the dual system of education and training at those international sites. And at the new site in Mexico, the company is currently training 216 young people according to the German system in advance of the start of production in 2016. In the fall of 2014, Audi opened a new training center there with floor space of approximately 20,000 square meters.

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