Initial and further training

To meet our demand for highly skilled employees, we must carry out staff training. With a vocational training quota – including interns and students – of 7.7 per cent (9M 2012: 7.6 per cent), we are one of Germany’s largest trainers. We also provide young people in many other countries where our sales lines do business with an opportunity to enter the work world. During the reporting period, our company had a total of 9,101 trainees around the world, a drop of 0.5 per cent.

In Germany, we hired 2,351 new trainees during the reporting period. The total number of our trainees during the reporting period was 7,248, a rise of 6.8 per cent compared with the previous year's period. We focus on needs-based training in nearly all sales lines. As a result, we can generally hire a large number of trainees at the end of the programme. Nonetheless, the company’s shifting needs each year can cause the total number of trainees to fluctuate. During the reporting period, 61.4 per cent of trainees who completed the programme received an employment contract afterwards. We also profit from the good performance of our young staff: 94.9 per cent of those tested successfully completed their training programme in the reporting year. The high quality of our training programmes has earned the respect of external experts. In the reporting year, the trade journal “Lebensmittel Praxis” honoured the special performance of three trainers at METRO Cash & Carry and Real.

In addition to 29 traditional training occupations, we offer young people to join a dual-training programme that can lead to a bachelor’s degree. This programme combines college-level studies at a university of cooperative education or a university of applied science with practical training at a METRO GROUP location. We currently offer nine college-level programmes at various institutions of higher learning in Germany. At the beginning of the winter semester 2013/14, 309 students were taking part in the programme.

Ensuring a high level of training quality and promoting the company’s own younger generation – these are the top goals of our sales lines’ training efforts. The aim is not just to teach traditional training content. Young people also have the opportunity to take on responsibility at an early stage and to show their commitment. One example of this approach is the “Frisch vom Nachwuchs” (Fresh food from young talent) project at our Real sales line: In this programme, 20 to 25 trainees take over responsibility for fresh-food departments that sell meat, cold cuts and cheese. During this project, they work on their own to manage the sales operation and merchandise flows. They also oversee in-house production. Another example of the Real sale line’s training activities is the project called “Handeln aus Verantwortung – Azubis zeigen wie” (Reponsible trade – demonstrated by trainees). During this project, trainees carried out a campaign on sustainability at about 40 Real hypermarkets across Germany. In the “ECOCARE” competition, the programme was ranked second in the project category by the trade journal “Lebensmittel Praxis”.

Continuous professional development

METRO GROUP is determined to promote life-long learning among its staff as a way of responding to current and future challenges in retailing. The House of Learning oversees the design and execution of company-specific employee-development programmes at METRO Cash & Carry. This center develops comprehensive training courses for key positions and helps to introduce them in every country where METRO Cash & Carry does business. Education experts and internationally renowned retailing specialists jointly devise modern, target-group-orientated training solutions. The focus is placed on the qualification of employees and managers who work in sales, purchasing, marketing and finance. The Royaumont training campus near Paris offers classroom seminars where international students can network and discuss issues.

To provide employees at all levels with access to qualification and professional development solutions, we offer a combined programme of flexible, computer-assisted learning (e-learning) and training. During the reporting period, 50,596 employees of METRO Cash & Carry took part in e-training, and a total of 190,095 e-training modules were completed. We use the “train-the-trainer approach”, that is, we train employees who have already completed centrally developed qualification programmes to provide instruction to their local colleagues. This approach enables us to reach a large number of employees. Topics covered in the training programmes include product knowledge, customer orientation, negotiating techniques, project management and soft skills.

The other sales lines are also setting standards in further training. In one reflection of this, more than 110 employees at Real successfully completed a programme offered by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce that qualified them as specially trained employees for quality baked goods. The certification is the second such partnership with the chamber in Düsseldorf. In 2012, the partners created a programme that targets specially trained employees for fresh fish and fish delicacies. More than 240 Real employees have taken part in the programme, including during the reporting period.