More than 50 years after the establishment of a music shop assistant apprenticeship system, the German Federal Association of Music Retailers (GDM) has reformed the three-year apprenticeship and given it a new name: "specialist music retailer".

In consultation with the German federal government, the trade unions and the chambers of industry and commerce, it has developed a new apprenticeship, which additionally includes training in new technologies.

"The term 'music shop assistant' sounded too antiquated and old-fashioned," explains Dr. Heinz Stroh, managing director of GDM in Bonn. "We have now also included electronic music in the apprenticeship as well as such aspects as customer orientation, marketing, sales, foreign languages and modern music store management."

The apprenticeship has a duration of three years with a starting salary of between €1,800 ($2,635) and €2,100 ($3,075) a month gross.

Until now, music store apprentices received the same training at vocational schools as all other retail apprentices, with no special attention being paid to specific music-related aspects.

Adds Stroh: "We are pleased to have been able to establish this special apprenticeship in the German music market."

GDM has over 600 members jointly accounting for sales of €900 million ($1.3 billion). The members sell recorded music, sheet music and music instruments.