Steve Dunn
Sustainability 29.09.2022 4 Min.
“I like to inspire others.”

In the “WEffect” sustainability series, the BMW Group highlights the sustainable contribution made by a wide range of people in the company – and the motivation that inspires them. Today: Steven Dunn.

Sustainability has many facets at the BMW Group because we are using this term to harmonise business, the environment and society. If we are to successfully put these high standards into practice, we need our employees’ commitment. Everyone can play their part in making the BMW Group sustainable.

So, who are all these colleagues who make sustainability part of their everyday work? What drives them to roll up their sleeves throughout the company? In its “WEffect” sustainability series, the BMW Group introduces employees who play their daily part in the broad and responsible further development of our company.

In this part of our series, Steven Dunn, Head of Technical Processes and Customer Quality at the BMW Group in Australia, explains how the rapid rise of e-mobility means that more and more young professionals are needed – and how he motivates them in the long term.

Steve Dunn

Steven Dunn, e-mobility has heralded an enormous increase in the need for very well-trained technical specialists. BMW Australia has therefore launched the BMW #NextTech programme, and you are jointly responsible for it. Can you describe this briefly?

Steven Dunn: Our programme gives apprentices specialised BMW training, personalised support and shorter apprenticeship periods, so they can complete their certificate in light vehicle mechanical engineering within three years. After graduation, the apprentices are recognised as BMW registered technicians and they get the chance to gain an additional qualification as a motor vehicle electrician.

What is your goal? What do you want to achieve with this programme?

Dunn: Initially, it was mainly about creating awareness of the problems we face and the benefits of our training format for the automotive industry. Our industry has a strong demand for skilled technicians and this programme teaches the relevant skills from the ground up. So it’s an investment in employees that not only makes our dealer network fit for the future, but indirectly supports the entire automotive industry – because we inspire young people to pursue a career in the fast-growing electric vehicle industry. Our training programme will of course be tailored to BMW Group vehicles. Our BMW #NextTech programme is a partnership with NextGen Jobs, a non-profit training organisation, and the Bendigo-Kangan Institute.

Steve Dunn

Have you already seen positive results?

Dunn: The first trainee signed up within 20 minutes of the programme’s launch! We are now actually overbooked with 41 trainees and already have many enquiries for the next cohort. This demonstrates to me that we introduced the programme in the right way – and that the market desperately needs a programme that offers this standard of training. 

What was your reason for taking on this project? And what have you yourself learnt from this?

Dunn: I was an apprentice myself over 25 years ago now. Today, I reflect on my training period and remember what I learned myself, what helped me – and, importantly, what didn’t. My team and I have been able to draw on these experiences to develop a tailor-made programme that provides the right type of education for young people today. After all, it’s intended to give them an exciting and rewarding career in the automotive industry. I myself have learned one thing above all else: people want to learn. And when they are committed to something they believe in, nothing can stop them.

Steve Dunn

Imagine you meet the Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Oliver Zipse, in the lift. He offers you help for your project – and you have just one minute to answer. What would you say?

Dunn: I would say: Mr Zipse, I want to make a video with you in which you encourage young people to take part in the BMW Group Australia apprenticeship programme. Because we want to train these young people to become highly qualified automotive technicians with added expertise in electrification. This will ensure that we also have the right skilled workers for the future of the BMW Group. 

In a single sentence: what motivates you to keep going every day?

Dunn: I like to inspire others. Building high-performance teams is a passion that I find very rewarding both professionally and personally. Besides, life is meant for living and I always try to get the best out of each day. 

So, when is it good enough?

Dunn: I don’t think it’s ever good enough, really. I will always keep moving, enjoy life to the fullest and do my absolute best.

In the upcoming portraits from our “WEffect” sustainability series, committed colleagues will also describe their motivation and explain the contribution they are making to sustainability within the BMW Group.

“WEffect – we make the BMW Group sustainable.“
#mycontribution #mymotivation