In focus

Record apprenticeships in Germany

German opticians face a growing challenge in finding suitable young talent to become professional store managers. This potential shortage is intensifying competition for talent in the market, and has compelled Apollo Optik, a GrandVision retail banner in Germany, to take a moremvigorous approach to its local apprentice program.

In 2015, we launched a more effective apprenticeship program which resulted in a record of 200 new apprentices, an increase of more than 50% over previous year. This significant growth is helping to ensure that our German business will have enough qualified professionals to staff its more than 800 stores in the years ahead.

The 3-year apprenticeship looks to recruit, integrate and develop young talent, and has a strong focus on optical skills, craftsmanship and retail experience. It involves a well-structured recruitment and selection process followed by modules covering key business issues, personal development and sales performance.

Apprentices can apply to take on the responsibility of running a store for one month as part of a new initiative, which in some cases resulted in significant sales increases in the period.

The apprentice and talent program has also increased the number of newcomers from other opticians during the year and decreased the turnover. Apollo Optik’s apprentice program has been recognized internally for contributing to excellence in the GrandVision’s HR program, and for making a true difference to the business.