Mercedes-Benz Malaysia marked a significant milestone in its history, celebrating 30 years of talent development at its Apprentice Training Centre (ATC) located in Glenmarie, Shah Alam.

Using the ATC as a facility to develop its talent pool, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has invested close to RM30 million in the centre over the last 10 years, since the establishment of the company in 2003. Annually, the ATC has set aside RM3 million for apprentice training. Graduates of the ATC become qualified technicians with an international level of expertise and eventually join the highly skilled workforce within Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s nationwide dealer network.

Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Encik Khairy Jamaluddin, was the guest of honour at the 30th anniversary celebrations of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s Apprentice Training Centre.

“The ATC is an integral part of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s strategy to deliver the best possible service to our valued customers. The significant investment we have made over the last 30 years in developing our apprentices and workforce is a clear example of how seriously we take customer service,” said Mercedes-Benz Malaysia President and CEO, Roland Folger, who was on-site to mark the special occasion.

Directly responsible for the ATC, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Vice President, After Sales, Michael Moh, explained, “The ATC has grown tremendously since its establishment 30 years ago. Today, the training offered at the centre benefits not just the trainees, but also meets the needs of our business partners. Since 1984, we have trained more than 700 apprentices, many of whom are now serving our customers in dealerships across the country. In fact, we look forward to seeing our next batch of trainees graduate later this month.”

Offering core programmes in automotive mechatronics, the ATC’s curriculum comprises of 70 per cent practical and 30 per cent theory work, with an on-the-job training component. Every year the ATC handpicks 28 trainees from a nationwide pool following a Pre-Enrolment Assessment (PEA). Studying 48 subjects over a three year period, trainees are taught basic and advance automotive skills, followed by a specialisation in passenger or commercial vehicles in their final year.

The 55,000 sq ft facility is staffed by 15 dedicated trainers (seven of whom are fully in charge of apprentice training) and houses state-of-the-art training equipment, purpose-built classrooms and workshops that emulate real-life after-sales centres. In recognising the needs of its dealer network and automotive industry at large, ATC trainees also gain transferable soft skills in presentation, analysis, decision-making, systemic thinking, mentoring, self-discipline and teamwork.

“The automotive industry is very dynamic, and the ATC ensures Mercedes-Benz Malaysia keeps abreast with all the latest changes and developments in automotive technology. Modules are constantly evaluated and our trainers remain in-tuned with these advances. To maintain the quality of training, the ATC has a trainer-trainee ratio of one to 14. Developing a trainee’s skill and character are two important components of the ATC’s curriculum. Ultimately, each trainee not just becomes familiar with the vehicles, but also embodies the Mercedes-Benz principle of providing the highest level of service to our customers,” explained Moh.

In the pursuit of maintaining excellence in standards, ATC trainers are also regularly evaluated and participate in training programmes in Germany. Undergoing various stages of assessments, trainers are equipped with the latest training and skills to ensure effective transfer of knowledge that remains in line with Daimler’s goals and standards.