ERJ staff report (TP)
Hanover/Darmstadt, Germany − Continental and the Technische Universität (Technical University – TU) Darmstadt are entering a strategic cooperative partnership.
On 13 December a corresponding agreement was signed during a joint promotional day – known as "ContiDay" – for students from all disciplines. The partnership encompasses joint research and development projects, support for students, and implementation of what is known as a life-long learning program with continued education opportunities for Continental employees through TU Darmstadt. The initial term of the agreement is three years.
"Collaborating with academia – and with the qualified employees and executives of tomorrow in particular – is of vital importance to us. Only by doing so can we meet the demand of continuing to shape the mobility of the future," said Chairman of Continental's Executive Board Dr. Elmar Degenhart. "We hope to meet up-and-coming talents early on and to make them aware of the numerous prospects and opportunities at one of the world's leading automotive industry suppliers. Through direct contact, we are showing them that in us, they have a top destination for starting a career in this field."
ContiDay gave prospective graduates the chance to learn firsthand about the product portfolio and career prospects at one of the world's leading suppliers. In a speech Degenhart spoke about the challenges for the managers of tomorrow and students also had the opportunity to personally meet Degenhart and other Continental executives.
Rainer Hetzer, head of HR at Continental’s Chassis & Safety division, said: "We are thus continuing our ongoing dialog with students … [and] are looking forward to interesting conversations, which always present us with ideas for our work.”
They also had the chance to discuss employment opportunities at Continental with engineers and HR experts. In 2013 alone, the international automotive industry hired 18,000 employees worldwide – of which 3,500 were university graduates and 14,500 were skilled personnel. Of these, 500 university graduates and 2,000 skilled personnel were hired in Germany.
In the particular area of research and development, Continental can look back on a longstanding, successful collaboration with TU Darmstadt. Since as early as 1986, TU Darmstadt and Continental's Chassis and Safety division have worked closely together on joint research projects.
"We regard it as our duty to more strongly promote cooperation between university research and industry," said Dr. Peter E. Rieth, Senior Vice President of Systems & Technology, Chassis & Safety division at Continental. "Both students and research personnel benefit from cutting-edge research projects with practical experience and relevance for industry. Universities and employees are thus significantly contributing to bringing our ‘Vision Zero’ of having no accidents, fatalities, or serious injuries in road traffic one step closer to becoming reality."
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Press release from Continental