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Education and Employment

Australia launches $2.43 million RecruitAble pilot program with Coles

man in wheelchair working in the office

Coles Group is seeking to increase the number of Australians it employs who are living with disability, by piloting a program aimed to support employers create more job opportunities and inclusive workplaces.

The Australian Government launched the $2.43 million RecruitAble pilot at the Coles Head Office (Store Support Centre) in Melbourne, which includes a new website to help Australians with disability, gain greater career and employment opportunities.

The RecruitAble pilot is a partnership between Get Skilled Access, founded by Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott AO, and national recruitment agency Randstad Australia.

Having worked with Coles for more than three years, including developing Coles’ disability confidence training for team members, Get Skilled Access is also working closely with up to five other employers including Tennis Australia, Bendigo Bank, Hydro Tasmania and RACQ. RecruitAble is designed and delivered by people with disability and lived experience and will work to build their disability confidence, identify key areas for increasing accessible practices in the hiring process to create more inclusive workplaces. At the same time, Randstad Australia is working to help employers understand their business needs, and assist jobseekers to match their skills, abilities and aspirations with vacancies.

Coles will focus the first stage of the pilot on its Technology function within its Store Support Centre, dedicating up to eight roles this year to new hires for candidates with disability.

Technology recruiters, General Managers and hiring managers within Coles will undergo targeted disability confidence training designed by Get Skilled Access to ensure the success of the program.

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,” Mr Cain said.

“We know that more than 3% of our workforce identify as having disability and we want to ensure that our management team take our learnings from this pilot to help our disability hiring acumen across Coles Group more broadly, and ultimately seek to increase the number of people with a disability that we hire.”

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said with more than 2.1 million working age Australians with a disability, the pilot would test a best practice approach for employing people with disability and train employers and recruitment officers to apply 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,” Minister Ruston said.

“The RecruitAble pilot aims to provide organisations with insights into the accessibility of the current recruitment process and identify the key areas for improving the hiring process.

“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,” Minister Ruston said.

Get Skilled Access founder Dylan Alcott said his company is thrilled to be continuing to work with Coles.

“Our company, Get Skilled Access, is already partnering with Coles to help their staff become more inclusive and disability confident, making the shopping experience for people with disability more accessible and easier,” Mr Alcott said.

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

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