How we’ve worked with IKEA to fully optimise the apprenticeship levy to create a 96% on-programme engagement and an 85% success rate.

The introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017 sparked IKEA’s new training ambition: to introduce apprenticeships as an opportunity to add a new way of learning that would successfully drive leadership and management progression across its UK sites. With 96% on-programme engagement across its stores, it’s done exactly that, and more.

How we created IKEA’s first leadership apprenticeship programme, Stepping Up

IKEA’s training vision from the beginning was clear – to increase its leadership talent pipeline and provide opportunities for co-workers to develop into leadership roles across IKEA’s UK sites. With a commitment to fully optimise its apprenticeship levy, IKEA looked for a like-minded external provider that could introduce a tailored apprenticeship training provision to the business.

Built from the ground-up, Lifetime and IKEA developed and launched IKEA’s first apprenticeship programme for Leadership and Management development, Stepping Up. Adding an extra dimension to its leadership and competence offer, Stepping Up provides a bespoke career pathway that aligns with IKEA’s existing growth plans and fits in seamlessly with IKEA’s ways of working.

As a result of our collaborative approach, we successfully co-created a programme that aligned the learning curriculum with IKEA' s own leadership approach. Together, we developed bespoke workshops, one-to-one delivery method and IKEA-specific activities, so Stepping Up had the perfect blend of the industry-recognised standard and the Swedish giant’s unique culture and values.

Programme impact

Through its collaboration with Lifetime, IKEA has harnessed every opportunity to capitalise its apprenticeship levy and future-proof its leadership talent pipeline.

on-programme engagement across all UK IKEA stores and distribution sites since collaboration with Lifetime.
co-workers have achieved IKEA’s Stepping Up programme since 2017
tracked success rate for each cohort of learners every six months

Nurturing workforce potential in roles across the global organisation

Designed to support the Many ways to grow offer within IKEA’s learning and development strategy, the Level 3 Retail Team Leader programme provided the ideal development tool to underpin IKEA’s ambition to empower, challenge and grow its future leaders.

Building on the successes of the initial launch of Stepping Up, the programme has now expanded to widen IKEA’s apprenticeship offering, with Level 3 programmes in Hospitality Supervisory, Senior Production Chef and Business Administration.

As IKEA grows and develops its programmes to upskill more of its people each year, we’re proud to work with them, every step of the way. Together, we’ll continue to evolve how learning works, by driving future-focussed skills training that develops a variety of roles within the global organisation.

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Our apprentices have stepped out of their comfort zone, increased in confidence and taken responsibility for their own development. The programme has added an extra dimension to their learning, helping them see the bigger picture and have a deeper understanding of IKEA and the wider industry.

Deb Wood, IKEA Leadership & Competence Leader

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