The Mercedes-Benz internal re-training program "D.Shift" for employees from production into digital professions.

Mercedes-Benz internal retraining programme

With D.SHIFT in digital professions.

February 09, 2024 – D.SHIFT is the internal retraining program of Mercedes-Benz for digitally-savvy employees in production. As an instrument of transformation, D.SHFIT begins where Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations (MO) is changing towards electrification and digitalization.

To actively promote the digital transformation in production, the in house training program, D.SHIFT, was launched in 2021. Especially targeting employees from German production sites, D.SHIFT focuses on the acquisition of digital skills. By the help of this targeted training, D.SHIFT contributes to the digital transformation of the workforce. With properly tailored digital learning content, production employees can qualify for employment opportunities in areas such as data analysis, artificial intelligence, or software programming for electromobility. This allows them to expand their skills, contribute their knowledge from the production environment and focus on future-proof employment profiles.

Sofia Stauber, Head of Strategic Alignment & Transformation Mercedes-Benz Operations, Founder of D.SHIFT.

With D.SHIFT, we have achieved a small change with great impact for the transformation. Our Digital Pioneers have enhanced their production expertise, now paired with digital competencies. This allows them to work in new, digital jobs in a new way to develop data-based solutions in production. We have inspired many colleagues, encouraged them and have shown that transformation can succeed. As team D.SHIFT, we are very proud of this and would like to thank everyone who has supported and accompanied us on this journey.

Sofia Stauber
Head of Strategic Alignment & Transformation Mercedes-Benz Operations, Founder of D.SHIFT
Sofia Stauber, Head of Strategic Alignment & Transformation Mercedes-Benz Operations, Founder of D.SHIFT.

The Digital Challenge

Employees from production who are interested in data and AI are selected as part of a so-called "Digital Challenge" and trained as data specialists. Multiple questions on digital topics must be answered in English. Basic IT knowledge was not necessarily required. Throughout the program, these employees receive intensive guidance and additionally get hands-on work experience with specific practical projects and job shadowing. At the end of the program, they move into their target positions that were defined and set at the beginning.

D.SHIFT has first started with the retraining of eleven employees in Berlin as part of the pilot project. In the approximately one-year qualification the so-called “Digital Pioneers” underwent their individual training journey towards the career goal of becoming “Junior Software Developers”. Following the successful qualification, they started into their new, digital destinations.

D.SHIFT Berlin 2021.
D.SHIFT Berlin 2021.

In 2022, the D.SHIFT program was extended to the powertrain site in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim. There, too, 22 Stuttgart colleagues from the area of production have now completed their training and moved into their previously defined target positions as data specialists at the Sindelfingen site. Thanks to D.SHIFT, employees in production can expand their skills, contribute their knowledge of the production environment and align themselves with future-proof job profiles.

D.SHIFT Untertürkheim 2022.
D.SHIFT Untertürkheim 2022.

The response has been enormous across the production sites: several hundred employees have applied for the 22 spots in Untertürkheim. Thanks to the success of this program, D.SHIFT was further expanded. In the end of 2023, employees from production repeatedly started the digital D.SHIFT retraining: The 75 participants undergo the qualification process in order to apply their combined knowledge of production expertise and newly acquired digital skills to target positions as data specialists at Mercedes-Benz.

D.SHIFT Untertürkheim 2023.
D.SHIFT Untertürkheim 2023.
D.SHIFT, the Mercedes-Benz internal re-training program for employees from production into digital professions.
D.SHIFT, the Mercedes-Benz internal re-training program for employees from production into digital professions.