Laura Carnicero, Head of Training and Development and Director of the SEAT School of Apprentices
It is undeniable that the technological innovations enveloping the fourth industrial revolution are called upon to introduce enormous changes in our society with hyperconnectivity and new technology as key elements set to transform the industrial panorama as we know it today. At this point, jumping on the Revolution 4.0 bandwagon is not a choice but an obligation for companies with their sights set on leading technological change.
In this scenario, the automotive sector faces the challenge of training staff to perform professions that are still being defined today, or do not even exist yet. At SEAT, we have taken this seriously from the word go, and we are already training our staff to lead the transformation of the automotive sector, turning the challenges presented by Industry 4.0 and digitisation into opportunities. This led to the launch of ’Always Learning', a training programme for our more than 15,000 employees, whereby each professional can freely choose what area they want to train in. For the first time, this formula embraces the added personal motivation of being able to choose how, when and where to train.
The youth of today are the professionals of tomorrow. These are people who were born into digitisation and need a different approach to the training we know today - and it must be continuous to ensure it is up to date with the latest technological developments and the demand of society. Throughout more than 60 years, SEAT's School of Apprentices has trained more than 2,700 professionals, and recently, we have taken a new step forward by incorporating the CodeLearn platform into our education programmes. This system is designed to teach different programming languages in a natural and gamified way - skills expected to be the key for a future in which industry and vehicles will be fully connected and digitised.
To launch this whole process we decided to think big, and in 2018 alone, we had already invested €21 million in training, increasing the programmes linked to the transformation of the sector by 237%. This investment is twelve times greater than the Spanish average and in the future, it will hopefully be even greater. In the 21st century companies need to have this crystal clear: if we take a decisive role in training our employees, we will assist and guide them in the right direction, and as a result, their professional growth will have a direct impact on the growth of companies.
The automotive industry is moving towards a challenging future with everything interconnected, so now more than ever, we need to leverage training for our most valuable resource, human capital, to add value for the future in this changing world. It is our responsibility to adopt a proactive attitude, anticipating market trends and exploring new processes: it is in our hands to be an active part of change and to train the employees of the future - a future arriving at lightning speed that poses a unique and transformative opportunity.
Head of Training and Development and Director of the SEAT School of Apprentices