Business / Auto China

BMW trains new auto generation

By Hao Yan (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-16 14:37

The BMW China Training Academy and its first academic partner in China have celebrated the 10th anniversary of a leading industry-academy cooperative education program, boasting more than 6,000 graduates.

The BMW Education of Service Technology, also known as BEST, has trained personnel with product knowledge and professional skills for the Chinese auto industry. About 30 percent of its graduates have joined BMW dealerships working in sales and after-sales services.

"BMW has become the first ever high-end automobile manufacturer that conducted a program in the form of college-enterprise cooperation in China," said Joachim Geissler, vice-president of qualification and retail human resources for the BMW AG.

"BMW introduced Germany's mature vocational education to the Chinese market, and focused on talent training and cultivation with forward-looking ideas and innovative thinking."

The BEST program, which was launched in 2006, covers five general courses - mechatronics, vehicle bodies, paint, service and parts - with the dual education system combining theoretical studies and apprenticeships in dealerships running through the whole process as guidelines.

The dual education system, an approach extensively adopted in Germany, has produced a large number of skilled professionals for German enterprises and effectively promoted the rapid growth of the German economy.

"BMW takes healthy dealer development and top-level customer satisfaction as two of its priorities," said Jochen Goller, senior vice-president of sales and marketing for BMW Brilliance Automotive.

"The BEST program has produced a large number of graduates equipped with comprehensive knowledge of BMW brand culture and specialized knowledge of automobiles, as well as the skills indispensable for their career success at the dealerships for the after-sales market and BMW dealership networks."

The trainees use equipment and tools identical to those in BMW dealerships, advanced workshop internet diagnostic systems that have been fully introduced to BMW training bases and the latest technical maintenance booklets.

The leading industry-academy cooperative education program was initiated after the Chinese government called for developing vocational education, and BMW cooperated with local vocational schools to launch primary and secondary education accreditation programs.

Reports show that the high level of professional knowledge and practical skills are widely welcomed and recognized by the automotive industry.

The past decade has witnessed fruitful achievements for the BEST program with more than 15 partner institutes. During its 10 years of practice, the BEST program has contributed to positive outcomes for schools, businesses, students and dealers.

Laura Wang, the newly appointed vice-president of the Shanghai-based BMW China Training Academy said: "In the future, the BEST program will dedicate itself to facilitating and accelerating cooperation between various academies.

"It could better benefit the trainees and store up more teacher reserves, so as to further promote the sustainable development of the whole auto industry."

BMW has established 15 training bases across 13 provinces, with cooperation from more than 300 dealers nationwide, to help improve vehicle service technology and related industry skills of students.

With those joint efforts, BMW and its academic partners set a benchmark for industry-university cooperation. The school's theoretical education and social practices are more closely intertwined than ever.

Nanjing Jinling Secondary Vocational School, BMW's first BEST program partner, has provided Jiangsu and adjacent regions with high-level personnel with adept hands-on practice and independent problem-solving abilities.

Zhang Qiang, a deputy secretary-general with the Nanjing government, said the program has also equipped its partner schools with many teachers with professional training capacities, international ideas on training and knowledge of the most advanced auto technologies.

"The BEST program further demonstrates that BMW acts responsibly as a corporate citizen and serves as a role model and driver for developing Chinese vocational education," he said.

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