Renee thrives in his role as a Goods Flow Co-Worker with IKEA

Renee is looking at the camera smiling. He is wearing a high-vis yellow IKEA jumper and standing with his hands behind his back.Renee, who lives with autism and mental health difficulties, came to WISE in September 2019 eager to work but needing some assistance in finding the right employer to cater to his needs.

Initially, Renee was a nervous, shy gentleman who attended his WISE appointments alongside his lovely mum. He worked with WISE on skills that would help him adjust to life in the workplace such as social skills and building his confidence. Renee improved quickly and soon he began attending appointments by himself, and started coming out of his shell with the help of the WISE team and his Employment Consultant, Carly.

When Renee was ready, Carly reached out to IKEA Richmond’s People & Culture/Customer Relations Manager, Emma, to organise a store tour for Renee. Renee was introduced to the co-workers who worked in replenishment who were all extremely welcoming, and ensured Renee felt comfortable asking the team any questions he had. After seeing what the role would entail, Renee was eager to give it a go! He was invited for an interview and was swiftly offered a part-time role over the Christmas season.

After a great Christmas period Renee was offered a permanent position at IKEA, where he now works 50 hours a fortnight. HR Manager, Emma, says he is a fantastic cultural fit and has really embraced what IKEA stands for.

“Renee brings a lovely warmth and energy to the team, and is a very hard worker who takes pride in his work and learning journey,” she said.

Throughout the employment process WISE supported IKEA, acting as the main point of communication between the team and Renee, regularly checking in with his progress as he transitioned into the role.

Renee stands in his high-vis IKEA jumper with his hands behind his back. He is standing outside the IKEA building and smiling at the camera.

Emma’s advice to other employers who haven’t considered hiring someone with a disability is to consider it, explaining “it’s important to be open minded to job seekers with a disability, as we’ve experienced first hand with Renee, when they’re given the opportunity to work in a role suited to them, they thrive!”

“We would highly encourage other retailers to reach out to WISE Employment”, she said.

Renee finds a lot of joy in the work he does at IKEA.

“I have a lot of nice friends and I’m really enjoying working,” he said.

“I’m grateful to WISE for helping me find this role. They were very helpful when it came to writing my resume and finding a job that suited my needs.”

The WISE team is extremely proud of Renee’s progress.

“It’s been fantastic to be part of Renee’s journey in seeking employment, he has inspired all of us who have worked with him and it’s wonderful seeing him thrive,” says Renee’s WISE Employment Consultant, Carly.

Renee often calls into the Wantirna South office in his IKEA uniform, all smiles and so happy – visiting for a chat and a catch up on his way home from work.

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