Luke is backpacking across Europe for IKEA

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IKEA Milton Keynes employee Luke Ockendon has been chosen as one of six lucky IKEA UK workers to take part in the ‘IKEA Backpacker scheme’.

The scheme is a unique programme offering IKEA workers the chance to develop their career through two six-month placements in different areas of the business around the globe. As part of his first assignment on the year-long scheme, Luke swapped IKEA Milton Keynes for IKEA Salzburg in Austria to learn the ropes in a new role.

Luke was chosen from hundreds of applicants for the IKEA Backpacker scheme, which offers workers a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn, work and travel abroad. Luke’s backpacking journey began working for the Food Department in the IKEA Salzburg store where he spent six months in his new job role, enjoying the local culture and getting to grips with a new language.

His first six month assignment in the sales team is now being followed by a further six months in Milan, Italy working in another part of the business in the trade, distribution or services department, allowing him to experience a new area within the business.

Ahmed Abdelrahim, store manager of IKEA Milton Keynes, said, “Hundreds of global IKEA co-workers applied for the IKEA Backpacker scheme and so we were really pleased to be able to offer this wonderful opportunity to Luke, who is a valued member of the team here in Milton Keynes. The scheme encourages talented individuals at the beginning of their career to develop leadership skills and competencies and ultimately supports their growth. We know Luke has a lot to gain from this exciting adventure.”

Commenting on this experience of a lifetime, Luke said, “The IKEA Backpacker scheme provides a great opportunity for me. This is a unique chance to work and live abroad and it makes me feel very privileged to be a part of this scheme, and a part of the global IKEA community. The Backpacker development scheme opens doors for all who take part and offers us a fantastic opportunity for future growth within the company.”