On the way to number 8: 25 apprentices from the ŠKODA vocational school in Mladá Boleslav have started work on the eighth ŠKODA student car. This project continues the ŠKODA Academy’s annual tradition of giving vocational school students the opportunity to design and build their own dream car. The students discuss possible components and materials for the eighth ŠKODA student car with their instructors and ŠKODA AUTO Board Members.
Maren Gräf, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Human Resources, says: “The ŠKODA student car project has an excellent reputation and is a figurehead for our company and our development of young talent. I am very proud to be part of this project for the first time this year and look forward to accompanying the apprentices along their way. This is a great experience for the vocational students; building their own dream car strengthens their motivation and creativity, and at the same time they gain many technical skills while building the vehicle.”
At the ŠKODA vocational school in Mladá Boleslav, talented up-and-comers have been designing and building a new ŠKODA student car – their very own dream car – under the guidance of their instructors every year since 2014. The innovative project, which is unique in the Czech Republic, offers the skilled workers of tomorrow the unique chance to demonstrate their abilities in collaboration with the Production, Design and other specialist departments. At the very beginning of the project, the vocational students are given the opportunity to exchange ideas with members of the ŠKODA AUTO Board of Management and present their approaches and ideas. In subsequent planning stages, they are supported by numerous ŠKODA experts, for example from the Development department and ŠKODA Design. Through these interactions, the apprentices gain an insight into all relevant areas of the company. They learn to work in a team to realise a project, combine planning and practical implementation, and present their work to the Board.
As they begin working on the eighth ŠKODA student car, the apprentices have numerous online meetings scheduled. Thanks to digital technologies, they could also make the necessary decisions during the pandemic. In the early stages of the project, the trainees must agree on the engine, the body shape, the materials used as well as the design and colours. The new ŠKODA student car will be gradually unveiled over the next few months.
Seven ŠKODA student cars have been created since 2014. In addition to spectacular concepts, they always offer innovative details and are very much in keeping with ŠKODA’s ‘Simply Clever’ philosophy. In 2020, the apprentices transformed a ŠKODA Scala into the emotive Spider ŠKODA SLAVIA, and at the same time commemorated the company’s beginnings by choosing the name to mark its 125th anniversary. In 2020, two ŠKODA student cars went on display at the ŠKODA pavilion at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, which has been the world’s largest automotive delivery centre and communication platform for all Volkswagen Group brands since 2000. The 2019 ŠKODA MOUNTIAQ pickup and the 2018 ŠKODA SUNROQ SUV convertible were both included in a special exhibition there.
The annual student car is one of the most important projects for the ŠKODA Academy and demonstrates the high quality of training at the vocational school in Mladá Boleslav, which was founded more than 90 years ago.
Alois Kauer, Head of the ŠKODA Academy, says: “This is now the second ŠKODA student car that I have been involved in creating. Last year, I was impressed by the great support this project received from all company departments. The difficult conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which are also having a significant impact on this year’s operations, have once again strengthened our team spirit and solidarity. I am already excited to see what our apprentices will roll out this year.”