Training centre, BMW San Luis PotosiMexico – Located at the OEM’s San Lui Potosí plant which is due to open in 2019, the new training centre covers 6,000 sq.m and has 11 workshops for employees plus apprentices from three educational institutions. The centre was built at a cost of $9m.

Hermann Bohrer, president and CEO of BMW Group Plant San Luis Potosí, described the centre as “the place where science and practice will be put together to have a highly motivated workforce for the most modern technology and the latest innovations of the production network”.

The workshops include: production technology; automotive technology; electricity and electronics; pneumatics and hydraulics; metal mechanics; robotics; programmable logic controls; paintshop and IT. There are also areas for skills evaluation, lean manufacturing development and non-technical training, plus a leadership room. All of the 1,500-strong workforce due to start work at the plant from launch will pass through the training centre.

BMW’s educational strategy at the factory is based on what it calls ‘four pillars’: vocational training; occupational training; a ramp-up centre; and qualification in the global production network. The vocational training will involve students applying knowledge gained at school to the real factory environment, while the occupational training will consist of a personalised development plan designed to improve competencies for the different positions at the plant.

Learning at the ramp-up centre, a 5,000 sq.m replica of the production environment, will focus on technology topics and the launch of a new model; students will be prepared for processes across body, paint, assembly, analysis, logistics and IT.

Qualification in the global production network will involve the training of more than 700 employees at sites in Germany, the US and China during the equipment phase and the start of operations, when the factory will begin making the 3 Series for markets worldwide.

“Qualification is the key to success,” commented Milagros Caiña-Andree, member of the board of management of BMW, Human Resources and Labour Relations. “It is great to see that what we have started two years ago with the first generation of apprentices in the temporary training centre has developed so well. For the BMW Group, our skilled workforce is the foundation to achieve the highest quality of our premium products.”