Different forms of continuing education are being offered
In 2011, 74 percent of retail businesses that offer continuing education options utilized external courses, training courses and seminars for professional training as was determined by the Institute for Employment Research (German: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, IAB) in its ”industry survey for the retail sector“
in 2013. Internal classes, training courses or seminars (63 percent), on the job training (62 percent) and participation in lectures and conferences (50 percent) are other popular forms of continuing education. The online portal einzelhandelskauffrau.org has compiled a selection of institutes that offer corresponding training courses here
. The Central Office for Vocational Training in Retail (German: Zentralstelle fuer Berufsausbildung im Handel) also provides a continuing education database
. Continuing education as a remedy for staffing problems
For retailers, vocational training is therefore particularly important. Yet continuing education and qualification of employees is also very significant, since it is a great tool to address the emerging staffing problems. Based on the demographic change and the resulting impending shortage of skilled employees, promoting continuing education programs is an important human resources measure to continue to meet the demand for trained staff.
However, retail is also facing particular problems in this instance. Employers are aware of the fact that comparatively unattractive working conditions create a problem with personnel recruitment. Flexible working time schedules with frequent work on weekends and evenings, comparatively poor compensation and a large number of part-time employees are a part of everyday life in retail. This generally makes this industry sector less attractive to job candidates than other sectors. Advantages for employers and employees
According to the industry study by the IAB, retail businesses don’t worry about skills shortage the same way the private sector and service sector do. However, this could prove to be shortsighted, since human resource strategies like the promotion of continuing education, as well as the creation of attractive working conditions are the key to meeting the personnel needs of the future.
Continuing education therefore plays a particularly large role in retail. On the one hand, this applies to employers of course, but on the other, it also similarly applies to the employees in the retail sector. With the right qualifications and commitment, they can direct their own career in a brand-new direction with new responsibilities– and more so than in other industry sectors.