The Coles 'First Steps' program is a tailored Indigenous pre-employment program designed specifically to support those looking for employment opportunities at their local Coles stores across Australia.

In Shepparton, Victoria, the program has been particularly successful after linking with an employment broker program based at The Kaiela Institute, with more than 20 Indigenous people employed across three Coles stores since 2014.

Gary Giddens was a full-time carer for a family member and out of the work force for nearly 12 years before being employed at Coles Shepparton through the 'First Steps' program. With the support of his store manager, Joe Tedesco, Gary's skills and confidence are growing and he is an important part or the team. The 'First Steps' program includes personal and professional development modules, work experience and six months of mentoring.