The TechPro2 project is a collaboration between Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) and the Salesian Professional Training Center (CNOS-FAP).
TechPro2 was designed to provide specific technical training to young people who have finished their required schooling – and who often come from socially disadvantaged or troubled neighborhoods. In 2013, approximately 2,300 students took part in the vocational training program, which provided around 2.2 million hours of training in seven different languages at 51 locations around the world.
The educational program consists of both theoretical and practical training at the Salesian Professional Training Centers (designed, renovated and equipped by FGA according to the standards and regulations that the Group applies to its own network). Since the second year, the program is completed with an apprenticeship or internship in the FGA service network, allowing young people to develop technical and professional skills, while also gaining useful hands-on experience.
In Italy, starting in 2013, students received training according to existing regional regulations, allowing them to develop the technical skills required to be service advisors. The initiative, launched in 2012, has attracted the interest of other TechPro2 centers in Europe and around the world, with other centers adopting similar programs. The training has been enhanced with new educational content that provides technical as well as behavioral skills. The training module was designed and delivered to learn the technical and interpersonal skills needed by a service advisor(1). Service advisors play a strategic role within the FGA service network because they need both customer management and technical skills.
The entry level Train the Trainer course was enhanced with the introduction of advanced courses in Rome (Italy) on wiTECHPlus diagnostic tools and natural gas fuel systems in vehicles, focusing particular attention on environmental issues. Also in 2013, a series of targeted actions increased and improved the opportunities for contact between training centers and the FGA authorized service network.
As part of the upgrade of the new TechPro2 portal, the Virtual Classroom initiative was launched. It focuses specifically on aspects concerning the planning of internships for students and the sharing of new opportunities for the FGA network and students.
In India, the TechPro2 program resulted in a project called DIKSHA as a collaboration between Fiat India Automobiles Ltd (FIAL) and the Don Bosco Vyawasaik Kendra Prashikshan (Pune). The program provides education and technical training to youth from across India , focusing on underprivileged & orphan students, who would otherwise lack access to a good education or livelihood.
Opportunities for student internships as a part of the TechPro2 program continue, making the highly specialized labor needed throughout the Group more readily accessible. In 2013, second or third-year Italian students participated in 762 internships, 40% of which were within the FGA authorized network(2).
The effectiveness of the project was confirmed by a study carried out by the CNOS-FAP on a sample of 377 students from the previous school year. The analysis found that, in spite of the current challenges in the automotive industry, 34% of the apprentices had already found a job, with this rate being more than double in emerging countries, such as India.
(1) The service advisor is the person in the Group network who is responsible for the preliminary checks on the vehicle and for customer relations.
(2) Source: CNOS-FAP, 2013.