SINGAPORE: Furniture giant IKEA will turn into a giant classroom for some Temasek Polytechnic students, after IKEA Singapore launched a three-year partnership with the school on Monday (Jun 29).
A joint press release by IKEA and TP said this long-term partnership is a first for Singapore’s retail industry and puts IKEA in line with the Government's SkillsFuture programme. As part of the collaboration, IKEA will provide input across three years of TP’s Retail Management Diploma course.
IKEA's Learning and Development team will give classroom lectures, as well as an in-store lesson for second-year students. There will also be a real-time business challenge project for third-year students. This year, the project involves spending four months working on a campaign for the new IKEA METOD Kitchens. IKEA will offer internships that will provide students with a mentor and 12-weeks of hands-on experience in four key departments – Sales, Communications & Interior Design, Customer Relations and Logistics.
The partnership will see an IKEA Innovation Award presented to a graduating student with the best grades. IKEA and TP named Ms Cheong Say En, who has a Grade Point Average of 3.99, as this year's winner of the inaugural award. She takes home IKEA furnishings worth S$1,500 and complimentary space planning consultation.
“TP is glad to collaborate with IKEA Singapore to enhance the level of professional retail training for our students,” said Mr Daniel Yeow director of the School of Business at TP.
“The IKEA store will be transformed into an ‘external classroom’ where our students will understudy and be mentored by IKEA co-workers. Together, TP and IKEA will create a learning platform for the students to hone their industry-relevant skills as well as to acquire first-hand experience in retailing,” he added.
Ms Jing Li, Deputy Store Manager at IKEA Tampines said: “This partnership will elevate Singapore’s retail industry by building much needed skills and giving students an inside look at one of the world’s most successful retail operations."
"At the same time, we hope this programme will help us to cultivate the next generation of leaders - exposing young people to long-term career possibilities in everything from sales and customer service to supply logistics and goods flow management,” she added.