Mercedes Benz has taken a decision to set up an Apprenticeship Scheme based on the dual education system practiced in Germany. Many companies are now following the model set up in Germany and encouraged by the German government to set up apprenticeship schemes. This scheme lays stress on the blend of classroom theory and training with the hands-on technical experience of the actual workshop.
About sixty per cent of the students who complete the high school level of education go on to take apprenticeships. The apprentices can opt for training and select a career as perhaps Parts/Accessories Specialists or Technicians.
The student apprentices in the United Kingdom will get a chance to be trained at the new Mercedes Benz National Apprentice Academy in Milton Keynes. Mercedes Benz has provided dormitory facilities with single individual rooms. A practical training course can get the apprentices an NCQ Certificate (Native Command Queuing) which is designed to improve performance in technological studies. The apprentices will get to train on cars and diagnostic procedures with the latest technology. They will be paid a stipend while on training and this is one of the best apprenticeship schemes in the United Kingdom.
The economic crisis has motivated a restructuring of the alignment between manufacture and servicing in several countries such as the United Kingdom. Mercedes Benz is extending the apprenticeship scheme even to the United States of America. It has a plant near Tuscaloosa in Alabama. It has actually started building cars there almost fifteen years ago. During this period, the sales in the United States and the evolution in technology became a challenge for Mercedes Benz with the complexities involved and it faced bigger problems in terms of the supply of skilled labour. Yet, Mercedes Benz is now trying to take the sharp aspects of the German dual education system and make it even better in the United States. It is going to start with a class of sixty apprentices or `mecatronic’ trainees, as they are called, beginning this fall.
Many apprentices have enrolled in a three year program also at the Mercedes Benz plant at the outskirts of Stuttgart. These apprentices are getting trained in `mecatronics’ which is a mix of electronic and mechanical engineering.
The training will set them up for a full time career for life should they opt to stay on with Mercedes Benz and in majority of the cases, they do get themselves confirmed as technicians. This, in turn, solves Mercedes Benz’s problem of looking around for skilled labour which does not come without extra cost. Each year, Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes Benz, hires around two thousand apprentices and that is safely about one third of the car sector’s annual intake in Germany.
The Mercedes Benz Apprentice Training program has been a priority with the car maker since the past one hundred and twenty years. When the demand for skilled workers had increased sharply in 1888, Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler created something that was unique and revolutionary. They decided to train and mould their young recruits and turn them into full-fledged technicians. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft started the apprenticeship program and trained individual apprentices.