Indigenous recruits can't wait for Coles

JOB-READY: Employment course graduates (from left) Kerry Anderson, Craig Parlett, Sky Liet, Damien Markham and Kaneesha Dodd celebrate the prospect of working at the new Coles supermarket in the Ipswich CBD.
JOB-READY: Employment course graduates (from left) Kerry Anderson, Craig Parlett, Sky Liet, Damien Markham and Kaneesha Dodd celebrate the prospect of working at the new Coles supermarket in the Ipswich CBD. David Nielsen

SEVENTEEN indigenous residents are ecstatic about their opportunity to work at the new Coles store in Ipswich after graduating from a three-week training program.

The group graduated from the inaugural Industry Partnerships Australia First Steps Indigenous Employment Program, an initiative of the the Salvation Army Employment Plus (TSAEP), Industry Partnerships Australia and Coles.

The 17 will be part of a workforce that Ipswich Coles manager Ken Lothian said would be "well over 200" by the time the store opens on February 6.

Mr Lothian said the company was mindful of the need to work with Ipswich residents.

"This is fantastic for us to be part of the local community, but also to zero in on the indigenous people who live in the community," he said.

"The indigenous program has been done in a few Coles stores now and it has worked very well."

"The indigenous program has been done in a few Coles stores now and it has worked very well."

Graduate Sky Liet, of Coalfalls, said the program was "a great initiative and makes people want to work at Coles".

"It gives back to the community as well, helping us getting to into a job and having that faith and belief in us," she said.

"It was great to get an insight into Coles, so now we know what we are doing. The training was excellent."

Mr Lothian said there was a buzz around town about the approaching Coles opening.

"I go down the street to buy coffee and lunch and I haven't heard a negative word.

"Talking to local traders, they can't wait for us to open because it will get this end of town going again."



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