Ikea is a Swedish furniture store with operations worldwide. The name is formed from the initials of Swedish founder Ingvar Kamprad, the farm where he lived as a child, Elmtaryd - and the town he grew up in, Agunnaryd.
Kamprad started the company in 1943 when he was still a teenager. It has since grown into a huge company and now owned by the Dutch firm Stichting INGKA Foundation. It now boasts more than 280 stores in over 40 countries, with a turnover which runs into the billions of euros.
Worldwide, Ikea employs around 140,000 staff, and around 10,000 of those work in the United Kingdom alone.
There are plenty of locations to hunt for jobs at Ikea over here. They currently have 14 stores in England; four in Greater London, and ten others in Birmingham, Bristol, Coventry, Gateshead, Leeds, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Southampton and Warrington. Other UK stores are at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Cardiff.
Ikea has also announced that it plans to add more stores in the United Kingdom in the coming years, with potential new sites at Reading and Sheffield already earmarked.
With floorspace of 28,000 square metres, the typical Ikea store provides jobs for an average of 500 people in sales, support and other roles - and a range of full and part time positions are on offer at various times throughout the year.
So, what sort of jobs can students or graduates do at Ikea in the UK?
The main business areas at Ikea are Stores & Retail, Product Development, Purchasing, Distribution - and these are all complemented with various back up support functions.
Stores & Retail includes functions like sales, logistics, graphics, interior design and customer service.
Within Product Development, you could find a role as a product developer, technician, editor or supply planner.
Support roles include jobs for information technology and communications staff, human resources, finance and new store development.
The work ethos for students and graduates at Ikea is very much along the lines of the hands-on-in-at-the-deep-end-learn-on-the-job employment model. Training will obviously be provided, but you will be expected to work unsupervised, get your hands dirty and learn from your own mistakes. So, try to show very early in the application process that you are the sort of candidate who would fit into that type of role easily.
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