Electrification and digitalisation are fundamentally changing the world of work. The transformation will lead to further development of all job profiles at Mercedes-Benz. The company is therefore putting lifelong learning and continuing education for employees at the centre of sustainable personnel development.
In Germany alone, Mercedes-Benz will invest more than €1.3 billion in the qualification, training and continuing education of its employees by 2030. Turn2Learn is an extensive push that raises qualification at the company to a new level. It combines three elements: a wide range of learning opportunities via e-learning platforms, customized learning paths and in addition the previously available continuing education programs. These elements offer employees tailor-made qualification opportunities in production and administration – in different combinations digitally and face-to-face.
“For a fully electric and digital future as a luxury brand, we have generated a noticeable sense of new beginnings at Mercedes-Benz. Turn2Learn takes this up and puts the qualification for all employees at Mercedes-Benz on a new level. With Turn2Learn we create limitless opportunities for lifelong learning at Mercedes-Benz. Everyone can continue their education independent of time and place, and across all units and levels. As a company, we primarily rely on learning paths that enable us to forge ahead with digitalization and electrification. I am very pleased that Turn2Learn enables colleagues to educate themselves according to their personal interests in order to promote willingness for lifelong learning. In the transformation, lifelong learning is not a buzzword, but the condition for success — for the company and for each individual colleague,” says Sabine Kohleisen, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Human Resources & Labour Director.
Digital e-learning platforms
Corporate management and the General Works Council have agreed to introduce an extensive range of further training and retraining via e-learning platforms for company and private use. In the future, this will offer employees an unprecedented variety of opportunities to learn independently and flexibly for their current job or future dream job. Free access to the entire range of platforms also gives employees the opportunity to pursue further training according to their personal interests. The company also bears the costs for the licenses here. The rollout will start gradually in the third quarter in administration and in first pilot areas of production.
Digital e-learning platforms usually offer several thousand online courses for almost all specialist units. The offer includes, for example, subject areas such as software, data science and cloud computing, the teaching of general business know-how and presentation techniques as well as agile working methods. The learning content can be used at any time and is packaged in compact units – often in the form of video tutorials, digital learning cards or online exercises.
Customized learning paths
From the very wide range of qualification options, employees will in future define customized learning paths as orientation for targeted and future-oriented professional training. When selecting the formats, the company enables employees to exercise as much self-determination as possible. Learning and education thus become a natural part of everyday working life. The learning paths are intended to accompany employees throughout their professional lives and will be continuously readjusted. This way, the company is also increasing the transparency of skills and abilities across teams and units.
Mercedes-Benz will place particular emphasis on qualifications that are crucial for the successful implementation of the company’s sustainable business strategy and digitalisation. For example, specific, preconfigured learning paths, such as data scientist or data architect, are defined for the data workers. These learning paths can be individually supplemented and adapted. To ensure learning paths are as individualized as possible and learning platforms are used efficiently Artificial Intelligence will be used in the future.
Qualification in production
Employees in production are already receiving a wide range of continuing education on digitalisation and electrification. Production plants are becoming more and more intelligent, are networked and collect large amounts of data. With newly acquired data and methodological skills, employees working, for example, as data specialists can analyse the systems much better and use them more efficiently and effectively. Challenges and any disruptions in the production process can thus be recognized even earlier in the future and interruptions can be avoided.
For the ongoing transformation of job profiles in production, the company offers, for example, suitably tailored digital retraining with individual support and defined target positions. After an initial successful pilot project during which employees (the so-called “digital pioneers”) from the Berlin plant receive further training on their individual journey to the career goal of Junior Software Developer, projects continue: In the Mercedes-Benz Powertrain plant in Untertürkheim “Digital Superheroes” from production and production-related areas began training for their extra-occupational qualification as Data Specialists in June. The pilot projects will subsequently be rolled out further.
For a fully electric future, Mercedes-Benz trains its employees in the field of electrics/electronics from basic to expert level. The qualifications are based on the specific tasks of the employees and vary in scope and content. For example, the basic requirement for employees to be allowed to move around in the high-voltage environment is high-voltage safety courses that only last a few hours. An additional basic training program as an electrician, which lasts several weeks, is necessary in order to work independently on the high-voltage system.
Turn2Learn is the logical continuation of the chosen qualification path
For the digital transformation, it is essential that all areas of the company invest in the development of digital skills. In total, Mercedes-Benz employees completed almost 1.3 million hours of professional and personal training last year in Germany alone. In 2021 there were around 75,000 participations in training courses on software, coding and IT at Mercedes-Benz Group AG worldwide. At Mercedes-Benz, around 80 per cent of all training formats are already digital or hybrid. The additionally planned e-learning platforms can be used to cover learning needs more quickly and to better track learning success.
Against the background of the digital transformation, Mercedes-Benz has rolled out the virtual ‘Digital Readiness Programme’ worldwide. The aim of the programme was to provide the entire Mercedes-Benz team with basic digital knowledge – from machine learning to the Internet of Things and blockchain technology.
The workforce in production is also in the middle of the qualification process. Since 2020, around 57,500 employees have successfully completed further training on topics related to electric mobility at our MB Tech Academies in Germany.
In addition to the needs-based qualification of employees, Mercedes-Benz also relies on targeted recruiting of new talents who have the appropriate skills. With its revised job portfolio for vocational training and the Cooperative State University, Mercedes-Benz is focusing early on the skills and qualifications that will be needed in the future. The company offers future-oriented apprenticeships for professions such as IT specialist or the new dual course of study on embedded systems, which combines engineering and IT.