World Leading Automotive Supplier Transforms Talent Skills with Akkodis Academy
Client name is confidential
About the Client
As part of a global 15-year-long transformation program, Akkodis helps our clients in the automotive industry navigate through some of the biggest technological disruptions and skills gaps.
For this project, Akkodis Academy designed and delivered a tailored skilling program. Its target is one of the client’s biggest and historically most important units. Their existing talent with mostly mechanical engineering skills is being iteratively re-skilled into highly sought-after skills profiles. This follows the client’s new strategic direction of being an e-mobility- and software-driven company.
The combination of investing and future-proofing its talent is a cornerstone of the organization’s overarching strategic vision.
Akkodis’ team offered three distinct programs for the software, systems and quality categories:
- Systems development engineer
- Software development engineer
- Functional safety expert.
The project has the ambitious goal to re-skill 500 mechanical engineers into the skillsets needed to successfully advance the transformation of the client’s foundational business. It is also the starting point for further international skilling programs.
A small cog in the wheel: Though very complex in itself, the skilling program was just one project in the global transformation impacting the whole company. This created a lot of high-profile stakeholder expectations and the necessity of constant executive buy-in. This added another layer of complexity to the execution of this project.
Funding requirements: Akkodis Academy Germany is AZAV-certified*, which enables us to deploy skilling programs with substantial financial support from the German Labor Agency for the client’s labor and program costs. Further, this certification creates rigorous requirements on both the selection of potential candidates for the programs and the execution of the skilling programs.
Changing timelines: Due to a lot of uncertainties around the overarching transformation program, the project kick-off and execution timeline had to be constantly adjusted. Both the client and the external suppliers, such as SMEs, had to be carefully managed. We sought to make sure they provide strong guidance and enough flexibility to deal with the constantly changing circumstances.
Skilling inertia: The skills transformation was to propel the client into the new strategic direction. However, the users of these programs were the experts from the most profitable and historically important units of the organization. External factors like growing demand and bottlenecks in supply chains (caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic) put the client in a situation where they were not able to incentivize productive workers into a full-time re-skilling program. This required careful stakeholder management and provided the opportunity to ideate with “training bench & backup” solutions.
German Work Council: German companies, especially the big automotive OEM suppliers, have strong Works Councils. Our client’s Works Council includes driven individuals with a significant impact on the transformation of the company. It was essential for the success of the project to have reliable buy-in from the client’s Works Council. That would enable the client’s Academy, as commissioner of the project, to fulfill the necessary internal steps.
* AZAV: Accreditation and Admissions Ordinance for Employment Promotion
Akkodis’ team offered a three-phase solution to the client, leveraging the Adecco Group ecosystem’s strength via LHH – a leading global transformation expert. We share experience in training soft and technical hard skills to deliver outstanding skills transformation programs.
The solution covers the following stages:
First, we defined the necessary future skillsets together with the client’s technical units, HR and Academy. To do this, we carried out intensive workshops to create a clear picture of the future needs as well as an exhaustive mapping of skills requirements for the technical units. Then, we assessed the existing experts to understand the current skills level. As a result, an individual skilling solution was designed to overcome the skills gap. In addition, we conducted consultations on eligibility of funding.
The skilling solution consists of three learning paths that are run as a full-time activity over five months. Participants apply and are extensively evaluated. Once confirmed, they move into a three-month handover period. On completing the re-skilling program, they start in their new role in the new organizational unit.
The format of the skilling programs was mostly trainer-led virtual classrooms to cater to the wide geographic spread of the participants. The modules focus on generic and client-specific topics on hard and soft skills. They were delivered because of the Akkodis extensive partner network of technical universities, technology partners, and Akkodis consultants. This ensures that the participants receive training that combines the most relevant skills from research, technology and practice.
The skilling solution was offered as an end-to-end solution to the client. Except for regular feedback for continuous improvement, the client completely handed over the operations to Akkodis Academy.
After completing the learning path, the participants entered an internship period with a project from their new organizational unit. They received access to a technical mentor as well as learning reflection exercises on an individual and group level. The goal of this period is to iteratively reintegrate the newly formed experts into the operational work environment. At the same time, this ensured that they were ready for their new chapter in their professional life.
Automotive & Transportation
- This is a lighthouse project as an employer branding effort targeting the client's employees, applicants and industry players.
- It has three learning paths, tailored to the client’s skilling needs.
- It is a scalable end-to-end delivery structure for re-skilling programs including a blueprint to implement service in other countries.
- It provides individual training modules to further develop the client’s training catalog.
- It employs a Lean AZAV fund application and implementation process through a single-point-of-contact with multiple German labor agencies in states and districts.
The project’s impact is yet to be fully assessed, but up to this point (February 2022), 94% of the participants took over a new future-related role after completing the project. The client has requested to extend the scope of services and deploy the same program in the USA