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Porsche opens new experience workshop in Leipzig

The car manufacturer Porsche has expanded the promotion of young talent in Leipzig with an experience workshop. Minister President Michael Kretschmer also attends the opening - and promotes technical professions.
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Man sieht die Porsche Erlebniswerkstatt.
Instructor Lars Bergemann explains a 4-cylinder Boxer engine to students at the Porsche Experience Workshop in Leipzig. © dpa/Jan Woitas

By Sven Heitkamp

A miniature car factory, a complete Macan on a lifting platform and a large workbench full of engines: The PorscheAfter a one-year break for renovation work, the Group reopened its former student workshop in Leipzig as an "experience workshop" with a large number of political celebrities in attendance, in order to expand its support for young talent.

The courses and offerings are aimed at children and young people in grades 3 to 9, where participants can learn how a car is made and what is behind internal combustion, electric and hybrid engines. They will also learn about car production, drive concepts and new mobility. The workshop is located in a training center of the Association of German Engineers (VDI) under the name "GaraGe". The technology center in Leipzig-Plagwitz offers young people the chance to try out skilled trades, technology and science in practical courses, workshops and vacation camps.

Porsche's experience workshop also wants to help get young people interested in technical professions at an early stage, said Leipzig plant manager Gerd Rupp. To date, the luxury car brand has not suffered from a shortage of skilled workers. "But we are experiencing a noticeable decline in the number of applicants," Rupp said. The Leipzig site hires 30 new apprentices every year, he said. The courses offered by Autoschmiede in the "GaraGe" are a perfect place to give children practical access to mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology at a young age, to show them the career opportunities and to get them excited about automotive topics, he said. The Group has spent a six-figure sum on the redesign and new orientation of the workshop - without any subsidies. Porsche also wants to make a contribution to society in this way.

Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) stressed at the opening that it was not a matter of pitting professional groups against each other. "All have their place." However, he said, he is now promoting careers in mathematics, computer science, engineering and the natural sciences because they are less popularly occupied by the public. "But they are the foundation of our prosperity."

The joy of technology is also the basis for the expansion of new mobility, climate protection solutions and sustainable industrial production. Saxony was once Germany's engineering hotbed, he said. "We must continue to be so," said Kretschmer. He himself trained as an office information electronics technician and, after graduating from high school, completed a degree in industrial engineering.

Leipzig's Lord Mayor Burkhard Jung (SPD) also emphasized the role of companies: "We are campaigning intensively for business to assume its responsibility for young people." This also applies to disadvantaged young people in particular. He said it was "unbearable" for him that one in ten young people still leaves school without a diploma. "That's where we have to step in." GaraGe is a beacon project for this.

The practice-oriented training center was opened back in 2002. It offers ten technical experience worlds for young people on 1,200 square meters and has 10,000 day visitors a year. In the future, the offer will be further expanded, said the educational director of the house, Birgit Walther. The team was increased by four to ten employees this summer, she said. Various projects are supported by the VDI, companies, the federal government, the EU and the city of Leipzig. Next Saturday, September 9, an open house is planned from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - when the Porsche Erlebniswerkstatt will also be on display.

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