Dual training for logistics clerks in Spain
German school abroad providing dual vocational education and training (FEDA Madrid) • Qualified specialist personnel with German language skills
FEDA Madrid is a German school abroad accredited by the Foreign Office and the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany and is part of a network of 140 German schools abroad. Since 1980, FEDA Madrid has been training young people in Spain in commercial areas, and in industry, logistics and trade in accordance with the German dual principle. It cooperates with the German Chambers of Foreign Trade (AHK Spain) and a number of German, but also Spanish training companies. The vocational school teaching is based on the respective framework curriculum of the German Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs and is delivered in German. The intermediate and final examinations are conducted by AHK Spain in cooperation with FEDA Madrid.
Primafrio came into contact with FEDA Madrid through the German Consulate in Barcelona. The Primafrio Group is a Spanish transport and logistics company. With its fleet of 2,200 trucks, it specialises in the export of fruit and vegetables from Spain to more than 25 European countries. The headquarters of the family business is in Alhama de Murcia. Germany represents its largest market, accounting for around 52 percent of sales. For Primafrio, it is therefore very important to train qualified specialist personnel who are fluent in German in order for the company to ensure high-quality and efficient communication with customers.
Language proficiency supports high-quality communication with customers
Primafrio has been offering two-year training as a freight forwarding and logistics clerk since 2018. The Spanish company cooperates with FEDA Madrid to support this. In this case, i unlike in Germany, the trainees apply not to the company but to the school which then forwards the applications on to appropriate companies. The school also carries out the theoretical part of the dual training. Overall, the trainees each spend six weeks in the school and around nine weeks in the company on an alternating basis spread over two years. This means the practice-based element of the training comprises around 65 percent.
The trainees are trained as part of operational work in the company. They assist dispatchers responsible for German-speaking countries, attend to customer enquiries, and ultimately develop their own base of regular customers. As part of the training in sales, they are actively involved in finding new customers and conducting initial negotiations. In this way they develop their social and methodological competencies.
To start with, one trainee was appointed as a trial to see how the dual training concepts might be integrated in a Spanish company. Since this integration proved to be seamless, two new trainees have been appointed each year since 2019.
Basis for a dual degree
In the summer of 2020, the first Primafrio trainee—the best in her year—received her qualification certificate from AHK Spain and the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). Following on from the vocational education and training, she is now also completing the dual degree in Business Administration and Logistics at the Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society, and for this she is able to continue working for her company in Murcia during the practical placement phases.
According to Marina Förch, Commercial Director of the Primafrio Group, prospects for further cooperation are very good. "At Primafrio, we regard the German dual vocational training as a successful training model that promotes talent and innovation. As a company committed to improved pre-vocational training and qualifications, we are delighted to be working with FEDA Madrid in order to give young people the chance to complete specialist training in transport and logistics and, as part of this, to help them develop basic skills and specific competencies for their professional future. The labour market now demands qualifications in a range of strategic sectors and the German VET is helping to strengthen the competitiveness of our sector and to improve direct communication with future members of the transport and logistics industry."
This sucess story was first published in the iMOVE publication Developing Skills for Employability with German Partners • 8 Success Stories from the Mobility and Logistics Sector. The brochure was published in November 2020.