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Coles Myer receives top award for disability employment

Disability Works Australia client Coles Myer Ltd has been nationally recognised for its commitment to employing people with a disability.

In December, Coles Myer won the National Corporation category of the 2005 Prime Minister's Employer of the Year Awards, which recognise excellence in the employment of people with disabilities.

Another DWA client, the City of Boroondara in Victoria , won the Local Government category.

Coles Myer formed an alliance with DWA in July 2004 to develop and implement an industry-best practice model for recruiting people with disabilities. In just over two years, the company has already employed 378 people in a range of positions across Australia .

Tina Zeleznik , Chief Executive Officer of DWA said Coles Myer's results were outstanding. “I have never experienced such commitment, support and enthusiasm as shown by the company's management and staff,” Ms Zeleznik said.

“Coles and DWA have created on-line information packs to assist the Disability Open Employment Services (DOES) through the recruitment process. The high quality of support provided by DOES once the person has been placed is a critical element of the success of the agreement.”

Ms Zeleznik said that as Australia 's largest retailer – and largest private sector employer – Coles Myer's promotion of the employment of people with disabilities is an inspiration to all employers.

Reagan Garner, Coles Myer's Recruitment Manager, said the company was committed to better reflect the diversity of its customers and the community in its employee base.

“Our agreement with DWA establishes a framework for us to develop and implement long-term systemic and cultural change to maximize the employment prospects of people with a disability,” Mr Garner said.

Coles Myer provides ongoing training and development opportunities to ensure that employee performance and job satisfaction are maximized for people with disabilities.

“We also undertake workplace modifications including the redesign of duties, as a matter of course,” Mr Reagan said. “Training is also provided to management and staff to increase awareness of the issues facing people with disabilities and the benefits they bring to the workplace.”

The Boroondara Council has worked closely with DWA to employ a number of people with disabilities, all of whom have mainstream positions. The Council has special software for sight impaired workers, and undertakes comprehensive ergonomic and worksite inspections to ensure modifications are made where required.

 

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