Training and professional development

Training and professional development: Learning and improving in the transformation

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The knowledge and skills of our employees are the foundation of Daimler’s worldwide success. This is why we invest extensively in their training and professional development and continue to enhance our HR development programs.

Due to electric mobility and digitalization we are currently experiencing the greatest structural change in the history of the automotive industry. This is being accompanied by the extensive transformation of our company, which is changing the nature of professions, activities, and requirements profiles. This in turn is increasing the need for further training in many positions held by both management staff and employees. We are addressing the various processes of change, such as the digital transformation, by offering appropriate training and professional development programs.

How we organize training and professional development

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Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, and Daimler Brand & IP Management GmbH & Co. KG structure the training and qualification processes with an overall system of rules and regulations. From the Board of Management to our training and qualification units and the trainers at the plant level, we pursue the goal of safeguarding our competitiveness throughout the company.

The “company-wide agreement on qualification” is one of the instruments used to regulate professional training at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, and other subsidiaries within Germany. We reached this agreement together with our employee organizations. The agreement strengthens the joint responsibility of managers and employees for qualification and helps 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 further develop their personal qualifications. Here we are also pursuing the goal of enabling all employees to obtain further qualifications in line with their professional requirements or equip them with the skills they need to take on management positions. In addition, the agreement 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 the two parties agree on the next qualification steps. Overarching qualification focal points are agreed on annually at the location level between the corporate management and the Works Council and are oriented to the production program of the plant, among other factors.

During the year under review, an increasing number of our multidisciplinary qualification programs in Germany, as well as the specialized measures offered around the world by administrative departments (e.g. Human Resources, IT, Finance and Controlling, Procurement), were conducted online rather than as physical events. We also further expanded the multidisciplinary qualification measures that we offer in Germany. Our strategic focus here is on topics such as new ways of working, digitalization, transformation, and innovation.

An agreement on a qualification offensive has also been concluded with the General Works Council for Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, Daimler Brand & IP Management GmbH & Co. KG, and Daimler Gastronomie GmbH. The focus here is on digitalization, programming, and electric mobility (including high-voltage qualification measures) at production plants in Germany.

Training: How we support our young specialized employees

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We accompany all of the important phases of training and professional career paths with comprehensive training and professional development programs and support measures. Our trainees and student-trainees are our specialists of tomorrow. During the year under review, we offered dual work-study programs and commercial and technical training programs in Germany for more than 30 different professions. We continuously update the programs in order to take into account future requirements and technological innovations in each profession.

More than 1,800 trainees and student-trainees began their professional training programs at Daimler in Germany in the year under review. We continuously review our job portfolio, the structure of our training programs for the various professions, and the structures of the courses of study for our student-trainees, and we also react to the latest developments and address potential future requirements and technological innovations.

Professional development: We develop career paths

Daimler promotes and supports the professional and personal development of its employees. We make sure that our people have the right skills and the means to continuously improve them, and in this manner we ensure that our employees remain effective and employable over the long term in a changing environment — and that they never lose their innovative capability.

We empower our managers

The qualification programs for managers at the Group teach a wide variety of skills in the areas of leadership, agile work methods, and the digital transformation. Courses are available to all management personnel worldwide starting at Level 4. New managers receive extensive support during the first 365 days after their appointment. The team leader development program also makes it possible for employees to take on management tasks in production units, for example. The main focus here is on leadership capabilities.

INspire prepares young professionals for their career at Daimler

INspire is the name of a series of international talent training programs launched in 2018 that optimally prepare young professionals for their careers at Daimler. Depending on their wishes and skills, the trainees can pursue a career in a specialized field or as a manager. We have hired 143 talents since the INspire programs were launched in 2018. Of these highly talented individuals, 42 percent are women and 38 percent of all talents hired come from outside Germany. INspire replaced the previous CAReer training program in 2018.

Study while working with Daimler Academic Programs

The academic further development of specialists and managers at the Group is very important to Daimler, which is why we offer the Daimler Academic Programs and other programs at all Group companies in Germany. The Daimler Academic Programs offer employees who have been at the company for at least one year the opportunity to study while they continue to work — regardless of their age or their professional development up to that point. We provide such employees with financial support and an accompanying program. Our focus in 2020 was on courses of study that address digitalization and new drive system technologies.

We attract talent from around the world

Acquiring highly qualified employees for demanding occupations and retaining them within the Group — this is the task of our HR development. Our Global Employer Branding provides the basis for making talented new job seekers aware of our company and recruiting them. Our career website and our social media channels (DaimlerCareer on Facebook and Instagram, and Daimler AG on LinkedIn) support all activities in the area of employer branding. We utilize an “always on” approach for online marketing in order to remain permanently visible to our target groups. With the help of banner ads, our “In for Change” image film, and our “People of Change” series of employee profiles we are increasing awareness in our target groups of Daimler’s attractiveness as an employer and are also making Daimler more well-known in general. Alongside these media measures, personal interaction with interested job seekers, for example at national and international career fairs and college career fairs (both online and on-site), is especially important to us. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, it was not possible for us to stage or participate in physical events to the normal extent in the year under review. We therefore made greater use of digital formats, and in the future we only plan to participate in fairs that employ a validated hygiene concept.

To supplement our standard recruiting process, we have a targeted 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 information security and to legal experts. We directly contact potential applicants on social media platforms for business, such as LinkedIn. We are proactively searching for candidates and contacting them online so that we can reach previously unexploited target groups and candidates from bottleneck profiles and thus gain experts for Daimler AG.

We utilize a strategic approach for our 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 important questions that we are addressing within the framework of our “Strategic Resource Management” HR planning program at Mercedes-Benz AG and Daimler Truck AG.

Strategic Resource Management is a methodology for observing quantitative and qualitative aspects of workforce development. We collect quantitative data using an online tool. We also analyze strategically relevant abilities with the help of qualitative methods. Here we compare specialist, methodological, and social skills with future requirements.

This approach helps us uncover potential quantitative and qualitative bottlenecks in specialist units. A quantitative aspect would be, for example, a shortage of specialists in a future-relevant focus group due to employee turnover. 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.

Temporary employment contracts help ensure additional flexibility

Our cooperation with external service providers and temporary-employment agencies is also a strategic instrument for quantitative HR planning. Our use of flexible temporary workers enables us to react more effectively to fluctuating production requirements and market conditions.

We have concluded agreements that allow us to regulate our workforce strength in a flexible manner. The provisions of the company agreements “Safeguarding the future of Daimler” and “DMove” have been extended until the end of 2021 for Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG locations in Germany. These agreements allow for a maximum personnel flexibility of eight percent. Our concept: Temporary workers supplement the permanent workforce; they do not replace it. Because temporary employment contracts enable us to react flexibly to market fluctuations, they also make it possible for us to keep our permanent employees working at the company.

We are preparing for the digital transformation

Our Group’s digital transformation is changing the requirements profiles of many jobs and making it necessary for staff in many positions to gain new expertise. We are addressing this need by expanding the range of professions in which we offer training, increasing the number of programs offered at Dual Universities, and recruiting young talent with extensive digital expertise. We are also developing a management culture and organization that is geared toward the digital transformation, and we are supporting the digital transformation by offering qualification measures for the entire workforce. In 2020 the focus was on IT skills and professions, high-voltage and battery technology, and the development and implementation of digital learning formats.

Among other things, we implemented a global digitalization qualification campaign in 2019 and 2020 that was designed especially for our IT specialists. In addition, we are currently preparing the Digital Readiness Program that will be used to launch a comprehensive range of digital professional training measures worldwide beginning in January 2021. Among other things, the Digital Readiness Program covers methodological, technical, and cultural aspects of digitalization.

Our managers are helping to shape the digital transformation

In 2020 we launched a program known as “Leading Transformation” for executive management staff around the globe. The program’s approximately 4,000 participants spent a total of four months examining various challenges the transformation presents to our Group and their own areas of responsibility. Participants held discussions with experts on the topics of leadership, strategy development, and innovation in times of uncertainty, and they also formulated ideas for targets that were then directly implemented in their teams.

We test new technologies

Daimler makes it possible for its trainees and employees to learn about exciting new technologies. Our training centers have set up “Innovation Areas” over the past few years where trainees and employees can learn about and learn how to use cutting-edge technologies such as virtual-reality headsets, virtual welding and painting facilities, and 3D printing machines. The 3D printers at the training centers in Sindelfingen, Untertürkheim, Rastatt, Wörth, Mannheim, Gaggenau, and Kassel were operating at full capacity for several weeks during the covid-19 pandemic, when they were used to print face shields.

We use digital feedback in training and at the dual University

We launched a digital feedback program known as Development Dialog for our trainees and student-trainees in Germany in 2019 and 2020. The goal of this program is to further develop the skills and expertise of our young professionals through a dialog with trainers. The young professionals and trainers can provide each other with feedback, thereby giving both sides valuable ideas on how they can develop and improve. The program has now been rolled out at all plants and offices in Germany, in certain units and departments at Daimler Mobility AG, and in Ludwigsfelde. Further rollouts are now being planned.

How we assess the effectiveness of our management approach

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In order to assess the effectiveness and success of a qualification measure, we need to determine the extent to which the skills learned can be transferred to the specific tasks and activities performed by the participant in question. Our leadership process offers us various ways to do this; one example involves the annual qualification discussions between managers and their employees. Discussions between the Human Resources unit and the specialist units on strategic qualification requirements (e.g. due to an existing or planned production program) also serve as a basis for these analyses.

In addition, we offer participants in the qualification programs the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience using a standardized survey. We then use the survey results to assess the effectiveness of the measures and modify their content or the didactic approach and methods used as necessary.

We also collect data on the number of days employees spend participating in qualification programs. This indicator enables us to make quantitative statements concerning participation in mandatory and voluntary qualification programs.

However, because this indicator does not allow for any basic qualitative conclusions to be drawn, we are also now examining whether our Employee Survey can be used to evaluate the success and effectiveness of our qualification measures. We expect that the survey responses will enable us to draw reliable conclusions that we can then use to assess and adjust our management approach.

Qualification measures*
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Training and continuing education costs (in € m)






Investments in employee qualification (in € m)






Qualification days per male employee per year***






Qualification days per female employee per year***






Qualification hours per employee per year







Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG in Germany


Decrease due to covid-19 pandemic with lockdown and short-time work at our locations


Note: As we are increasingly using learning formats that are integrated into the work process, the qualification days do not necessarily correspond to the actual level of qualification.

People starting their careers*













Dual University






Total number of people starting their careers







Daimler Group in Germany


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