Welcome to the Future!


The Mercedes-Benz Learning Academy in East London, South Africa is a modern technical training center for specialist employees at Mercedes-Benz and other local companies. In partnership with the South African government, junior talents and employees are trained at the center, including the use of KUKA robots for production.

The aim was to foster production specialists locally. That is what prompted Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) to found its own training facility in 1981: the Technical Training Center, right next to the company’s premises in East London. Hundreds of MBSA juniors and employees have already been trained here for traditional technical vocations.

Qualification for today and tomorrow

Today, vehicle production is characterized by increasingly complex production systems. The demand for correspondingly specialized personnel is very high – both at MBSA and at its suppliers and other local companies. Work began in 2014 on comprehensively restructuring the Training Center in response to this development. The Mercedes-Benz Learning Academy (MBLA) opened its gates in March 2016. With new rooms, a comprehensive training portfolio and modern technical equipment. The specialists that train here are fit for the future – and also allow MBSA to continue producing automobiles at the highest level in the future. But there is a lot more at stake! Because the Eastern Cape region surrounding East London is suffering from a shortage of specialists combined with a high level of unemployment.

Comprehensive training portfolio and high-tech under one roof.

Rosy Outlook for MBSA – and South Africa

The South African Ministry of Finance participated in the MBLA through the “Jobs Fund” initiative in order to create jobs for the long term. A partnership that pays off for the entire region. Now employees of other companies can also take advantage of the training available. In addition, high school graduates and job seekers are also given access to technical training. Training to work in modern production facilities gives them the perfect preparation for starting their careers. And, last but not least, new development potential is also created for local industry thanks to workers who have received the best possible training for all technical disciplines through to complex robotic applications. KUKA industrial robots are used for this purpose. They are used as standard in all Mercedes-Benz plants around the world, including MBSA.

KUKA – an Award-Winning Supplier

KUKA is a leading manufacturer of industrial robots. This pioneering company introduced the first robots for industrial applications onto the market in 1970. Robots controlled from a PC are also one of KUKA’s innovations. This is what allowed software, control and mechanics to work together precisely, in order to facilitate efficient production processes. And development continues. KUKA Roboter GmbH worked with Daimler to establish ground-breaking standards for human-robot interaction, for which it received a Daimler Supplier Award in 2015.

Daimler Supplier Award 2015: Wilfried Porth, Personal und Arbeitsdirektor, IT & Mercedes-Benz Vans, Dr. Till Reuter, Chairman of the Board of Management von KUKA, Dr. Sabine Lutz, Leiterin International Procurement Services (v.l.n.r.).

MBLA robot Training

MBSA employees often used to have to learn how to operate robots at Mercedes-Benz plants in Germany, which took a lot of time and cost a lot of money. Today the Mercedes-Learning Academy offers all of these opportunities locally. A total of ten KUKA robots are available for practical training. A unique training program that offers the best prospects for the future for all participants! For more than 40 trainees a year as well as employees of MBSA, suppliers and other companies in the Eastern Cape region.

Feb 16, 2017
Birgit Hennefarth