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Coles looking to hire more Australians living with disability

23 March 2022 at 3:10 pm
Nikki Stefanoff
A new pilot program has launched to support Coles Group in its disability hiring process

Nikki Stefanoff | 23 March 2022 at 3:10 pm


Coles looking to hire more Australians living with disability
23 March 2022 at 3:10 pm

A new pilot program has launched to support Coles Group in its disability hiring process

In partnership with Dylan Alcott AO’s Get Skilled Access, Coles Group is seeking to increase the number of Australians it employs who are living with disability. 

The RecruitAble pilot program was launched in Melbourne earlier this week and is supported by $2.43 million in federal funding. 

Get Skilled Access (GSA), which was founded by Alcott, the 2022 Australian of the Year,  advocates for the creation of a new and equitable generation of disability inclusion and has been working with Coles since 2019 on its disability confidence training. 

The work GSA is doing on the RecruitAble pilot, alongside Australian recruitment company Randstad, will see it continuing to work with Coles on building its disability confidence as well as helping the business identify key areas for increasing accessible and inclusive hiring. 

The first stage of the pilot will see Coles focus on the technology arm of its store support centre, and it has committed to creating eight new roles in 2022 for candidates with disability.

The business’s technology recruiters, general managers and hiring managers will undergo targeted disability confidence training, designed by GSA, to ensure the success of the program.

Alcott said his company is thrilled to be continuing to work with Coles.

“[GSA is alreading] helping their staff become more inclusive and disability confident [and] making the shopping experience for people with disability more accessible and easier,” Alcott said.

“It’s awesome that Coles, one of Australia’s largest employers, is committed to creating more job opportunities for people with disability.”

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the pilot is one of the many ways Coles plans to be a champion for accessibility and disability inclusion.

“We encourage and support the employment of people with disability and we’re committed to building a team that’s representative of the local communities we’re part of,” Cain said.

“We know that more than 3 per cent of our workforce identify as having disability and we want to ensure that our management team take [the] learnings from this pilot [and use it to] help our disability hiring across Coles Group more broadly.”

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said with more than 2.1 million working-age Australians living with disability, the RecruitAble pilot would test a best practice approach for employing people with disability. 

The learnings could then be used across all businesses to train employers and recruitment officers, to apply a more inclusive recruitment process to their own businesses.

“People with disability are hardworking and dedicated employees but too often businesses fail to recognise or even consider their skills and capability,” Ruston said.

“Having a job is an absolute game-changer in everyone’s life and that shouldn’t be any different for someone who has a disability.”

Find out more about the work of GSA here 

Nikki Stefanoff  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Nikki Stefanoff is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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