Qualifying our employees for tomorrow

Our employees are the key to Daimler’s worldwide success. This is why we invest extensively in their training and professional development and continue to enhance our HR development program. Good career opportunities are our flagship in the labor market.

A strategic approach to training and professional development

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Acquiring highly qualified employees for demanding occupations and retaining them within the Group – this is the task of our HR development. We accompany all of the important phases of an individual training and professional career path with comprehensive training and professional development programs and promotion measures.

Occupational profiles and activities are changing faster and faster. That is why we take a long view in the development of our training plans and learning formats. The same goes for hiring young talents. We too have recognized that more and more young people want to go directly from high-school graduation to a university. The dual system of training remains a model of success for us. This is because we will only accomplish the technological transformation with well-qualified specialists who can combine theory and practice. We address young people in Germany by means of innovative training marketing. Our attractiveness as an employer to these and other target groups is proven by the annual study of employer branding conducted by the Trendence consulting and market research company. For the first time, we are now the most popular vehicle manufacturer among schoolchildren. We reached fourth place in the overall ranking of the most attractive employers in the opinion of schoolchildren in Germany in 2019.

Due to electric mobility and digitalization we are currently experiencing the greatest ever structural change in the history of the automotive industry. Our objective is to prepare all of the Group’s employees for this change in a targeted manner. That’s why we are continually qualifying them for technological change and making them familiar with new requirements. The approach we employ makes use of digital learning formats and the qualification of employees directly at the workplace. This way we are establishing and further developing the necessary expertise. This ensures the long-term employability of our employees in a changing environment.

Many current challenges also affect our HR work. In order to meet them, we must create suitable conditions for a variety of professional training methods – for example, for formal and informal learning, self-paced learning methods, and on-the-job qualification. This requires taking into account all of the employee groups with their respective empirical knowledge and their expertise. Furthermore, we have to react to the fact that the time available for learning is decreasing, although the rapid technological development of products and systems demands a fast and flexible transfer of new knowledge. Last but not least, our task is to promote the motivation and capability for lifelong learning among all of our employees.

How we organize training and professional development

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Daimler structures its training and qualification process with an overall system of rules and regulations. From the Board of Management to the Daimler Corporate Academy and the trainers at the plant level, we pursue the goal of increasing agility throughout the company. We have also established a strategy process for the development of our future workforce that we use to review and realign our objectives and measures.

Company-wide agreement on qualification

The “company-wide agreement on qualification” regulates professional training at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, and Daimler Brand & IP Management GmbH & Co. KG. We reached this agreement together with our employee organizations. It strengthens the joint responsibility of managers and employees for qualification and is intended to maintain and increase the competitiveness of the Daimler Group. In addition, it helps us to further standardize the qualification process and to structure it more efficiently. Finally, the agreement regulates collaboration with the Works Council on the main aspects of qualification and defines the process for the needs-based planning of qualification measures.

With regard to the permanent employees, the company-wide agreement aims to reinforce and develop their personal qualifications. In addition, it expresses the expectation that our employees will take on an active role in the qualification process and develop new professional prospects independently. Furthermore, the agreement stipulates that an annual qualification discussion should be held by each employee with his or her supervisor in which both parties agree on the next qualification step. Overarching qualification focal points are agreed annually at the plant level between the company management and the Works Council and are oriented to the production program of the plant, among other factors.

The company-wide agreement also specifies that employees may continue their educational path outside the company. They have the option to obtain further qualification by leaving the company for up to five years with a guarantee that they can return. In 2019, around 325 (2018: 323) employees took this opportunity. This enables our trainees to begin a further qualification outside the Group immediately on completion of their training and to subsequently return to Daimler. They can use this time to become a master craftsman or to begin a degree course, for example.

In 2019 Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG invested €114 million (2018: €123 million) in the qualification of their employees in Germany; on average, the employees spent 2.7 days (2018: 3.2 days) per year on further qualification.

Centrally and decentrally based human resources development

The Daimler Corporate Academy helps the Group develop a new management culture and world of work. The central mission of the Academy is to safeguard the further development of managers throughout the Group and around the globe within the framework of a leadership program. It comprises compulsory modules and voluntary bookable offerings. Furthermore, the Daimler Corporate Academy is responsible for the specialist qualification of all employees and managers in the IT, HR, Procurement, Finance, and Controlling units and in the executive divisions in close coordination with internal and external experts in the respective fields. In addition, the Daimler Corporate Academy offers all employees and managers in Germany the possibility of acquiring an interdisciplinary business qualification and improving their individual language skills. This is supplemented by digital offerings worldwide. The Corporate Academy also offers Daimler Academic Programs that enable employees to pursue a course of study while they continue to work, for example. The Academy addresses schoolchildren and teachers through the Genius knowledge community. Its goal is to promote enjoyment of and interest in scientific and technical subjects.

The international training services provider Global Training supports the Mercedes-Benz Retail Organization in the successful structuring of customer relationships and knowledge management. Global Training uses digital and innovative methods to show our sales employees how they can work successfully in a rapidly changing competitive environment. The training concepts are developed in close cooperation with the Research and Development unit and the relevant business units and market organizations.

We have standardized the training content across locations and business divisions in the “Daimler Training System” for Germany. The content is continually updated in a clearly defined process. Our production locations are responsible for the on-site qualification of managers and specialized employees in manufacturing.

At many of our international locations, we are creating our own company training centers and qualification structures or supporting the respective regions’ offers. Furthermore, we are also establishing dual education elements outside Germany.

Strategic human resources planning

How will our workforce develop over the next ten years – and what workforce structures will we need to have in the future? These are the questions that we are addressing within the framework of our “Strategic Resource Management”.

Strategic Resource Management is a methodology for observing quantitative and qualitative aspects of workforce development. We collect quantitative data using the “Jobfit” tool. In 2019 we also used other methods to analyze strategically relevant abilities. Here we compare specialist, methodological, and social skills with future requirements.

Strategic Resource Management uncovers potential quantitative and qualitative bottlenecks in specialist units using the methodology described above. A quantitative aspect would be, for example, a shortage of specialists in a future-relevant focus group due to employee turnover or drastically increased personnel requirements. A qualitative bottleneck could affect the training requirement for a future-relevant qualification. This information helps us plan the future requirements for entry-level recruitment and for training.

Goals and strategic areas of action

The goals of our training and professional development programs are to offer our employees opportunities for lifelong learning and to safeguard the competitiveness of our company. In order to accomplish this, we have defined strategic areas of action for professional education over the next five years. These areas include the transformation of mobility, agility in professional education, digital education projects, and internationalization. The areas apply equally to Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG.

Recruiting talents and developing career paths

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Our broad range of career-entry and qualification programs is targeted at talented young employees, to whom we offer development opportunities at our company.

High-quality vocational training

In Germany we recruit most of the young talent we need through our industrial-technical and commercial apprenticeships and the dual study program. We developed the “Daimler Training System” for technical apprenticeships in Germany. This system enables us to maintain the high quality and efficiency of our in-house training.

At the end of 2019 the Group had 7,937 trainees worldwide (2018: 8,061), including 1,884 abroad (2018: 2,046). The costs for training for Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG in 2019 amounted to €120 million (2018: €124 million). At international locations such as those in China and India, more than 8,250 (2018: 6,500) young people were trained and qualified in cooperation with schools and in other training models. This figure is increasing. Trainees profit from excellent employment prospects. All of the trainees at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG who successfully completed their training were hired in a process that was agreed on with the employee representatives.

Skilled workers

Employees who have successfully mastered their first five years and who now wish to specialize can participate in the “Skilled Worker in Focus” development program. This is offered at German production locations of Mercedes-Benz AG and Daimler Truck AG. In 2019, 76 employees took part in this program.

Programs such as “Skilled Workers in Focus” and the team leader development program ensure that employees also receive non-specialized general training and education according to uniform standards. The participants are given the opportunity to gain good career prospects and plan concrete development goals. We also focus especially on the development of talented young managers.

Students at the Dual University

Daimler also offers dual work-study programs for 13 internationally recognized bachelor courses of study at 13 Group locations throughout Germany. The knowledge transfer is supplemented by internships in Germany and abroad. In 2019 we had over 199 (2018: 184) students at the Cooperative State University; each year we offer to hire all of our students who complete the program.

Daimler academic programs

Since 2010, Daimler has been offering specific employees the opportunity to pursue a course of study while they continue to work. In cooperation with selected universities and colleges, the programs enable employees to earn academic certificates, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorates at any point in their professional careers. The portfolio we promote contains selected courses of study and academic certificate programs at a variety of universities and colleges in Germany and abroad. The range of courses is supplemented by digital learning formats. The content of the portfolio is oriented toward the Group’s strategic and specialist focal topics.

Recruiting the experts

To supplement our standard recruiting process, we have an active sourcing program in order to gain employees for positions that are hard to fill. This applies in particular to digital experts in areas such as cybersecurity and to machine learning software developers. We directly contact potential applicants on platforms such as LinkedIn. We want the active online search for candidates and the digitalization of the recruiting process to open up previously untapped target groups and enable us to attract candidates who have especially valuable profiles.


INspire is the name of a series of international talent training programs that optimally prepare young professionals for their careers. Each one of our talent training programs offers cross-unit insights, training, and personal coaching. We have hired 110 talents since the INspire programs were launched in 2018. Of these highly talented individuals, 49 are women and 39 of all talents hired come from outside Germany. Because we are striving to recruit and promote our future managers from our existing workforce, the INspire program addresses a select target group.

INspire – the Leaders’ Lab

This new trainee program of the INspire series is targeted at young managers from all over the world who have international experience, digital skills, and, ideally, some professional and management experience. At the program’s launch in 2018, the individual participants developed a customized program plan together with their respective mentors from top management and HR counselors. In addition to a number of qualification measures that do not take place on the job, the program encompasses at least four challenging practical projects that are high-profile and involve a lot of responsibility. The focus is on work assignments in the trainees’ own areas of expertise, interdepartmental deep dives in units outside their areas of specialization, and missions at international Group locations. We also support the trainees’ development by placing program participants in cross-company assignments and in projects close to our Board of Management.


The programs offered by the Daimler Corporate Academy teach a wide variety of leadership skills, including self-management, managing others, managing organizations, agile working, and digital transformation. These courses are available to all management-level personnel worldwide within the Group. Newly promoted managers receive extensive support during the first 365 days after their promotion.

In 2019 around 150,000 people worldwide took part in the programs of the Daimler Corporate Academy in order to continue their personal and professional development.

Doctoral candidates

Postgraduates in disciplines that are of strategic importance to us can pursue a doctoral degree at a renowned university with Daimler as the non-academic partner. The candidates are given a three-year fixed-term contract for this purpose.


Daimler also operates a multi-location university study support program that aims to bind high-performing interns to our companies. These students are personally supervised and receive individual support. The program seeks to encourage the participants to directly join the company, to earn a doctoral degree, or to enter Daimler through the management trainee program “INspire – the Leaders’ Lab.”

Commitment to school education

Our STEM educational initiative, “Genius,” offers many activities that aim to get children and young people enthusiastic about technology and technology-related topics (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – STEM). Genius also helps teachers make their classes varied and future-oriented by offering them practice-related instructional materials, digital education materials, and advanced training courses.

Lifelong professional training and qualification

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Daimler employees are expected to take part in training and qualification programs for their professional and personal development throughout their careers. Employees are supported by our managers as they proceed along their career paths. In 2019 important qualification measures focused on electric mobility (high voltage, battery assembly) and digitalization.

Qualification of personnel for the digital transformation

Our Group’s digital transformation is changing the requirements profiles of many jobs. We cover these requirements by recruiting digital talents and by creating a digital management culture and organization. Moreover, we support the company’s digital transformation by offering qualification measures for the entire workforce. In 2019 the focus was on IT skills and professions as well as on digital learning formats such as DiT (Digital interactive Training).

Specific qualification measures

In addition to interdisciplinary professional training measures, individual units and functions at the company also offer specific qualification programs for their employees:

Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development

The Research & Development (R&D) Technology Academy offers special qualification measures for our R&D specialists. The academy keeps the employees abreast of the latest developments in science and research and helps to develop their skills in order to make them fit for their future tasks.


We also focus strongly on communicating the latest technological know-how in the qualification measures for managers and specialized employees in manufacturing. In 2019, for example, we qualified more than 45,000 employees throughout Germany, for example in new developments in electric mobility and robotics technologies.

Sales and customer service

The in-house training course provider Global Training offers courses to the employees of the Mercedes-Benz Sales Organization in over 80 countries. More than 700 Mercedes-Benz trainers qualify around 203,000 participants each year. In total, the employees of the Mercedes-Benz Sales Organization take part in 1.8 million training courses per year.

How we evaluate the effectiveness of our management approach

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After each qualification course, we carry out standardized surveys of the participants. Moreover, we collect tracking data about the participants’ behavior. We work together with the participants to evaluate individual concrete programs focusing on human resources and leadership development. In addition, we regularly conduct reflection and strategy talks with relevant stakeholders. We carefully analyze the data and the survey results in order to further develop our training courses.

Adjustment of measures in dialog: From the very start, we develop a large part of the Corporate Academy’s offers in cooperation with our customers or other stakeholders.

Evaluation of management potential: We use agreed assessment processes to evaluate the leadership potential of our young managers. We also conduct appropriate analyses of employee potential as part of our team leader development program. This assessment is carried out according to a uniform standard at all locations of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, and Daimler Mobility.

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Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG

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Daimler AG Mercedesstraße 120
70372 Stuttgart
Tel.: +49 711 17 0

Represented by the Board of Management: Ola Källenius (Chairman), Martin Daum, Renata Jungo Brüngger, Wilfried Porth, Markus Schäfer, Britta Seeger, Hubertus Troska, Harald Wilhelm

Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Bernd Pischetsrieder

Commercial Register Stuttgart, No. HRB 19360
VAT registration number: DE 81 25 26 315