E-commerce is becoming increasingly important for retailers; reason enough to act accordingly and ensure that there is enough qualified new blood in the field. Thus, from 1st August 2018 onward, about 1,000 apprentices started their training as e-commerce businessmen and -women, a brand new occupation in Germany. The German Trade Association (HDE) has been spearheading the introduction of the first 4.0 profession over the last few years.

“Retailers need the new profession to be able to systematically and in a qualified manner prepare apprentices to pursue a career in online retail,” commented HDE chief executive Stefan Genth in a recent HDE press release.

“Thanks to the new profession, the industry can inspire many new trainees for an apprenticeship in retail. The e-commerce businessman or -woman is making commerce attractive for a generation of digital natives," added Genth.

And they are needed urgently as online sales and thus the need for skilled labour are growing, but training opportunities are not growing proportionally. The HDE presented the new apprenticeship nationwide through more than 85 information events and expects around 1,000 apprentices in the first year, potentially more in the future.

With the two core professions business people in retail and salesperson, according to HDE, the retail industry today is already among the top three of nearly 330 dual training occupations, and accounts for ten percent of all completed training contracts annually. “We want to continue this successful series with the new occupation e-commerce businessman and -woman,” said Genth.

Soon, there could be a new training programme with a bachelor in e-commerce. "Retail takes its responsibility as the third largest business sector and important educator very seriously. Starting one’s career with an apprenticeship is still the norm in retail. Eighty percent of all executives have started as apprentices in the industry," explained Genth.





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