From the IHK-MAGAZIN (February 2024): “The tailwind of the best in Germany”

From the IHK-MAGAZIN (February 2024): “The tailwind of the best in Germany”

Julia Jacqueline Ernst is training Marvin Schröder for
wholesale and foreign trade management.


Julia Jaqueline Ernst, Managing Director at ERNST & FRIENDS GMBH, and Torben Meyer, Co-Founder and Managing Director, see one reason for the good performance of their trainees in the support they give their trainees. “Offering support and coaching on the one hand and giving room for ideas and mistakes on the other is a special opportunity for every young person,” says Ernst. “We believe there is more to training than simply teaching the content according to the training plan. The personal development of the trainees is important to us. We try to take our time and look closely at where their strengths lie and where there are still certain weaknesses or uncertainties,” adds Meyer.

The internationally active trading company in the field of watch and jewelry technology and microbatteries in Elmenhorst in the district of Herzogtum Lauenburg wants to challenge and encourage its trainees. The prospective wholesale and foreign trade clerks are right in the middle of the action from day one – with the opportunity to make a direct contribution. “If an apprentice signals to us that he or she wants to take on more responsibility, we give them more challenging projects early on. That’s a special feature of our company: we quickly gain a lot of trust,” says Ernst. ERNST & FRIENDS has had positive experiences with this approach. “For example, we set up a new returns process,” continues Ernst. “We sat down with two trainees without any specifications and I was simply impressed by the great suggestions they came up with.”
Ernst and Meyer help cautious trainees who initially shy away from their own projects to find their personal strengths. “It’s completely normal to be nervous. It’s precisely at this point that it’s our job to help trainees leave their comfort zone,” says Ernst. For Meyer, being able to talk to each other rationally is part of this collaboration with his trainees. “We want to give them the confidence to address difficulties. We can’t find a solution if we don’t know the problem,” he says.

For Ernst and Meyer, support, freedom for their own ideas and trust are the right mix for a good apprenticeship. “The baggage we give our trainees is a great basis for the start of their career. They are well prepared,” says Meyer and Ernst adds: “That is always the aim when we train people. To gain committed people we can build on.”

To the article: How good training works – IHK Schleswig-Holstein