Around 1,000 apprentices started their careers in e-commerce on 1 August. With the new apprenticeship program, online merchants will benefit from a profession tailored to their needs.

The online trade differs fundamentally in some areas from the classic stationary business. In order to respond to the new requirements, the industry has had its own apprenticeship job since August. The new dual apprenticeship is called “Merchants in E-Commerce”. According to the German Retail Association HDE, around 1,000 men and women have chosen this apprenticeship this year. “Dealers need the new profession in order to systematically and competently prepare their young talents for a career in online retailing,” says HDE Managing Director Stefan Genth. In recent years, the HDE has worked together with the German E-Commerce and Distance Selling Trade Association  (bevh) and other associations to introduce the first 4.0 apprenticeship.

According to bevh, many member companies want to train merchants in e-commerce

According to bevh, the demand for the new profession in the economy is high. More than 80 percent of the online and multichannel merchants that are part of the bevh want to train e-commerce merchants. The profession is also well received by school leavers who passed the A-levels and pupils with a high school diploma: In some large cities two specific classes can be formed from the beginning. But companies were also able to fill their training places outside the major cities in the region. “We are particularly pleased that the training of “e-commerce merchants” appeals equally to young women and young men,” says Martin Groß-Albenhausen, Deputy Managing Director of bevh. According to bevh, numerous e-commerce companies that have not yet started training are also interested in the training. They particularly appreciate the openness anchored in the job profile, which also allows new digital business models to be quickly and practically adopted in the dual training system.

The toy retailer Toys’R’Us is also training merchants in e-commerce

The first companies of the new apprenticeship job include multi-channel retailers such as OTTO, BAUR, Conrad Electronic, Media Markt or Ulla Popken. The toy and Omnichannel retailer Toys’R’Us will also be there. During the three-year apprenticeship at the company, the trainees learn everything about digital trade and the operation of international online shops. This includes getting to know all processes in an Omni-Channel environment along the value chain. The topics range from the digital presentation of goods and logistical processes to online marketing including social media and customer service. “We at Toys’R’Us are very pleased to be able to offer this special and diverse apprenticeship. As one of the first companies to do so, we offer our trainees the opportunity to get to know online commerce in all its facets in daily business and to put the acquired knowledge directly into practice,” says Susanne Käsmacher, responsible for training at Toys’R’Us Central Europe.

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Link: In 2018, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training launched the new training occupation of e-commerce clerk.

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