School of Books and Crafts - a role model for the wood industry

A very interesting and useful project for Romania is the School of Books and Crafts programme, based on the German model of combining theory and practice. Although this vocational training programme does not directly influence the wood industry, it can serve as an inspirational model for companies in this sector.

The School of Books and Crafts is a partnership between six major companies - HORNBACH Romania, PENNY, LIDL Discount, METRO Cash & Carry Romania, SELGROS Cash & Carry and dm drogerie markt - and nine high schools in the country. The project is run under the close supervision of the German-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania). For three years, students who choose this vocational route learn the trade of retailer-seller, and at the end receive an internationally recognised diploma and the opportunity to work in one of the partner companies.

The benefits are manifold, both for the economy and for young people. The retail industry gets well-trained, ready-to-work professionals and students gain valuable experience from school, in a strong institutional setting and with reliable partners. They receive a monthly bursary, paid transport and lunch for the duration of their internship and acquire essential skills for a career in retail. At the end they have the clear prospect of a stable job.

Specifically, the School of Books and Crafts is taking place in 7 cities across the country:

  • Brasov - "Andrei Bârseanu" National Economic College
  • Bucharest - "Dragomir Hurmuzescu" Technological High School
  • Cluj-Napoca - "Iulian Pop" Economic College
  • Constanta - "Carol I" Commercial College
  • Oradea - Economic College "Partenie Cosma"
  • Sibiu - Economic College "George Barițiu"
  • Timișoara - "Emanuil Ungureanu" Technical College

Enrolment is at the end of 8th grade or until the age of 26, in two periods: 1-5 July 2024 and 2-5 August 2024. The file includes a standard application form, a pre-registration form, copies of the birth certificate, the identity card of the candidate and of the parents or legal guardian (plus a court order if applicable), and the enrolment form.

After the submission of the application, the next meeting with the partner companies will take place between 8-16 July and 6-8 August 2024. This is where the compatibility between the student and the company where he/she will do the internship during the 3 years is established.

The programme itself lasts 3 years and includes both theory and practice. Year I is 20% practical, year II - 60%, and year III - over 70%. The practical work is carried out in the partner companies' stores, where students learn all the usual processes - from customer advice and sales to receiving merchandise, inventory, merchandising or payments. Students receive a monthly stipend of 600 lei, transportation and lunch during the internship. After 3 years, they graduate as specialised salespeople with an internationally recognised diploma, solid experience and the prospect of immediate employment in the company where they were apprenticed.

The same model could be very well applied in the timber industry. Vocational colleges in the sector could join forces with manufacturers and professional organisations such as ASFOR or APMR to set up a similar programme. The companies would benefit from having skilled future employees trained early on, and the students would have a solid career path. Programs like the School of Trades and Crafts are hopefully already on the agenda of employers' associations, because they provide both the well-trained workforce the timber industry needs and direction and hope for young people.

About the author


I've had the chance to work in various departments. Thus I gained experience in Finance, Accounting, Logistics, Sales, Operations, Marketing. I am a team player and an all around player. I am an entrepreneur, I coordinated the sale of a wood varnish and paint business to a multinational. In 2016 I discovered the digital world, publishing and online marketing. Since then I have moved my accumulated experience and skills online.

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