Thousands of students from across the country are expected to descend upon the RDS Simmonscourt in Dublin for Worldskills Ireland 2023, which gets under way next Wednesday, 20th September.
The three-day event lets school leavers experience first-hand the wealth of career options available, from apprentice engineers and stonemasons to chefs and car technicians.
More than 160 finalists will compete across 30 live national finals to be in with a chance of representing Ireland next year in the Worldskills Internationals in Lyon, France.
As the main Automobile Technology Competition sponsor, Volkswagen Group Ireland has leant its considerable weight to the event. Head of group technical service at Volkswagen Group Ireland, Vicky Halton, says Worldskills is key to recruiting the next generation of talent needed to power the switch to electric power.
“The leap to electric vehicles is a unique opportunity for technicians coming into the business. It’s an exciting sector that is growing exponentially so apprentices who join now and gain the necessary skills will always be in demand.
“When you come to work as an apprentice for Volkswagen, you are not just becoming someone who tinkers with cars, you are effectively becoming a software engineer.”
Volkswagen Group Ireland’s network of 83 retailers runs apprenticeships while the group supports TU Dublin and TUS’s (Technological University of the Shannon) ‘Access to Apprenticeships’ initiative which was setup in 2018 and helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into apprenticeships.
Apprentices who come through Volkswagen’s dealer network, receive training at Volkswagen Group’s National Learning Centre (NLC) located in west Dublin, where they get access to state-of-the-art facilities and the latest Volkswagen Group vehicles.
With six brands, including Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Audi, Skoda, Seat and Cupra, Volkswagen Group Ireland has a range of careers, from workshop-based technicians to high-voltage, electric vehicle specialists.
“We have the broadest portfolio in the business. An apprenticeship through our dealer network is an internationally recognised qualification that opens doors wherever you want to work,” adds Halton.