New apprenticeship as management assistant in e-commerce

A cross-branch training occupation for the booming online trade sector

Person tippt auf Einkaufs-Icons auf transparentem Interface
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Online trade is booming. In the wake of this development, a new dual training occupation of “management assistant in e-commerce” will be introduced on 1 August 2018. This is the first new commercial training occupation to be launched for ten years and has been specially tailored to the needs of this specific growth market. Management assistants in e-commerce will work for companies which sell goods or services online. These include manufacturers and service providers as well as firms involved in the wholesale sector, foreign trade, retail or tourism. The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) worked with the social partners and experts from the field of company practice to draw up training regulations for the new three-year programme of VET in this area.

The amount of business done online is growing constantly, and this cross-branch training occupation will open up opportunities to familiarise trainees in a systematic way with new challenges associated with digitalisation and changes to customer behaviour. Because project-related work is an essential feature of e-commerce, trainees will be inducted into adopting such approaches from the outset. They will also learn how to deal with the changes that occur in the distribution channels and structures of e-commerce on an ongoing basis. Knowledge and experience at external and internal interfaces will be a particular requirement with regard to aspects such as advertising, logistics, IT or legal and controlling matters. In addition to the selection and deployment of online sales channels and involvement with the planning and management of their company’s range of goods and services, the individual tasks of management assistants in e-commerce include the initiation and conclusion of online sales agreements and procurement support. Customer communications, the development and implementation of online marketing, and commercial monitoring and control all constitute further important tasks.

Once half of the period of training has been completed, trainees will take the first part of the extended final examination. This comprises a written test on the contents of the first 15 months of training and focuses on the areas of production management and contract preparation. The result of this examination makes up 25% of the total overall mark. The second part of the final examination then covers the fields of business processes, customer communications, business and social studies, and a specialist oral examination on a project-related process in e-commerce.

This new training provision is aimed at school pupils who have completed the lower, intermediate or upper secondary school leaving certificate. Media literacy and an interest in constantly grappling with new developments in online sales and distribution channels will both be helpful attributes for potential trainees.

In the near future, the social partners also intend to develop advanced training regulations with a view to creating further career pathways for management assistants in e-commerce.

An implementation guide to support training practice is expected to be published as part of the BIBB “Structuring Training” series in the spring of 2018.

For more (German language) information, please visit:

Point of contact:
Manfred Zimmermann

Specimen copy requested if printed.