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AI upskilling at Volvo Group

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

That there is a global lack of AI talent is well known by now. Finding a good strategy to add AI knowledge to employees' existing skills is crucial to address that challenge.

Volvo Group has close to 100,000 employees and many of them need a broad understanding of AI's potential to add value to the core business. The main target group for training in AI is what Tove Johansson, Learning Program Manager at Volvo Group University, calls "the average engineer".

"They are engineers who work in other areas than AI and data analytics specifically, but who need to understand how AI can become a tool in their day-to-day work," says Tove Johansson.

Volvo Group University is a center for learning and competence development that is easily accessible to all employees within the Volvo Group. As Volvo Group is one of the partners of AI Sweden, it was natural for Tove Johansson and her colleagues at Volvo Group University to turn to AI Sweden to look for support and resources in AI Sweden's partner offering Training and Learning

AI in practice, Deep-Dive Sessions for Data Scientists, and AI-introduction for leaders are three examples from AI Sweden's offering that we use at Volvo Group. There is also a significant value in the events that provide knowledge and insights on a specific topic.

Normally, Volvo Group University creates internal training material based on knowledge and skills among employees. However, as Tove explains, in the case of AI training, it was not as straightforward.
"We find the people internally with the right skill set and create a team with a writer and an editor. But since we, like almost everyone else, are short on AI competence, we had to find another solution in this area. Our employees with AI skills are needed to build things. There is no time for them to train their colleagues. That is why partnering with AI Sweden on this is so valuable for us."

For the most basic introduction to AI, Volvo Group University has an internal learning module with examples of AI implementations from different parts of the group.

What are the biggest challenges when planning upskilling within AI?
"AI is an area that moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. That makes it difficult to understand what kind of training and learning is needed in which parts of the organization. Right now we are looking into AI Sweden’s new AI Maturity Assessment Tool to help with that."

In recent years, training and learning has changed. Courses that spanned a whole day or more are now more often much shorter where smaller chunks of knowledge are spread out over weeks and months. With digitalization, an individual's specific needs can also be addressed in new ways.

Raquel Sanchez, Acting Head of Training at AI Sweden, says that working together with AI Sweden’s partner is crucial: "Our partners can influence what's in AI Sweden's training offering in different ways, and also learn from each other. Going forward, we see that both AI Sweden's consultancy and academic partners can help build the training and learning resources that are needed. Already today, we have plenty of very exciting courses and trainings to take part of, so make sure to check them out!"

Training and learning

For more information, please contact Raquel Sanchez