Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has started a recruitment drive to fill 600 new positions at its plant, in East London, in preparation for production of the next generation C-Class (tagged as the W205), in 2014.
The programme will see around 800 applicants, with Grade 12 as the minimum requirement, undergo training and skills development, with the top 600 applicants finally recruited as production operators, says MBSA spokesperson Lynette Skriker.
The East London plant currently employs 2 200 people.
In addition to advertising the positions in local newspapers, the company has entered into a partnership with the Department of Labour to select candidates from its database of job seekers.
MBSA in 2010 secured the contract to be one of only four Daimler sites worldwide to build the W205 C-Class, a move that will see the German manufacturer invest R2.5-billion in its local operations.
Apart from the skills training and recruitment drive, other major develop- ments at the production facility include the construction of a new bodyshop.
Before admission into the skills programme, each applicant is required to complete a multiphased assessment process. MBSA has set up a specialised training centre, where each of the selected trainees will undergo two months of training in automotive theory, as well as practical, production-specific content. The training facility is equipped to accommodate 144 learners at a time.
“The skills training programme is the most robust training initiative the company has undertaken since the mass recruitment drive for the W203 project, which took place in 1999,” says MBSA human resources VP Johann Evertse.
“The main objective is to give trainees a better understanding of our industry and equip them with the necessary skills to take up positions in the plant and start building platinum quality cars from day one.”