The 2 young women and 21 young men have been tinkering on their very own vehicle project since November 2014. Developing ideas and discussing possible solutions, drawing, designing and above all, they have built a very special, a unique car. Inventiveness and flexibility are just as important as pragmatism and implementation skills. The trainees have been supported in their work by ŠKODA chief designer Jozef Kabaň and ŠKODA AUTO Production Director Michael Oeljeklaus. The new ‘Trainee Car’ is almost ready; the premiere takes place at the legendary GTI Meeting at Wörthersee in mid-May.
This is the second year in a row that the Czech manufacturer has given selected trainees the opportunity to create their dream car. The company’s goal with this programme is to promote and strengthen the vocational students’ creativity and expertise. “After the excellent results of the ŠKODA Trainee Car premiere last year, it was clear that we would continue the project,” says ŠKODA HR Director Bohdan Wojnar. “We are once again delighted with our students’ creative ideas and their goal-oriented implementation. We would like to thank everyone who has supported the project, especially the teachers at the ŠKODA AUTO Vocational School. The ŠKODA FUNstar is a great concept car that is going to surprise and inspire visitors at the GTI Meeting.”
The ŠKODA FUNstar is a sassy pickup based on the new ŠKODA Fabia – cheeky, fresh and surprising. This is a bright, sharp pickup with a real fun factor, not only in name. The ŠKODA FUNstar stands out with its metallic colours steel-grey and moon-white. The sills, grille surround and the rear spoiler form a striking contrast in reflex-green. One special feature is the LED lights mounted below the sidebars. The duel-lens headlights also feature LED technology, with green LED light strips serving as daytime running lights. LEDs are also used in the rear lights.
“Through this project, our apprentices have really shown what they are capable of,” says ŠKODA Production Board member Michael Oeljeklaus whose department has taken the junior employees under their wing in production technology. “The project has been great fun. The students have really got on board with the task, showing great zeal and developing their expertise.”
The ŠKODA FUNstar drives up on 18-inch ‘Gemini’ alloys from the Octavia RS. The engine is a 1.2 TSI petrol with 90 kW. The transmission features a modern seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The sporty look continues in the interior. Individual elements are also finished in the colours steel-grey and moon-white. It goes without saying that the students used one of the best sports steering wheels ŠKODA has to offer, and the 1400-Watt sound system offers a fantastic music experience.
The ‘Trainee Car’ project once again demonstrates the high quality of ŠKODA’s vocational training, and the importance of combining theoretical education with practical experience. The ŠKODA Vocational School offers young adults three- or four-year training programmes in technical subjects. The students graduate with an apprenticeship diploma or NVQ level 3 respectively. There are currently 13 training courses, on which 880 full-time trainees are enrolled. 12.5% of these apprentices are young women. In addition, 65 current employees are supplementing their qualifications at a post-graduate level. The ŠKODA Vocational School in Mladá Boleslav was established in 1927. Since then, almost 22,000 students have completed their training there.
Training young people is a key part of the Czech car manufacturer’s social responsibility. The training is free; moreover, students are paid for their work during their apprentices. After successfully completing the training, ŠKODA offers all graduates a permanent job.