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Coates Hire launches Reconciliation Action Plan

Coates Hire has launched its ‘Reflect’ Reconciliation Action Plan at its Moorebank branch, outlining clear targets for the company to increase the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander employees and apprentices within its ranks by 2025.

The development of the action plan began in October 2019 when a group of employees from across all parts of Coates Hire came together to conduct a review of Coates Hire’s cultural learning needs and diversity groups.

The group worked with Reconciliation Australia to develop a plan that reflected a new vision for Coates Hire in its employment and community endeavours for Indigenous Australians.

Several targets have been set for the company, including providing cultural awareness training to all employees by June 2021, increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander apprenticeship participation rates to 10 per cent by 2025, and increasing its overall employee participation rate to 2.5 per cent by 2025.

Coates Hire owns and operates more than 150 branches around Australia, including in regional centres where opportunities for indigenous communities are limited.

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Chairman of Coates Hire and CEO and Managing Director of Seven Group Holdings, Ryan Stokes, announced a three-year investment – matched by Federal and State governments – with national not-for-profit organisation The Clontarf Foundation. The total investment will cover the associated costs for 120 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men to participate in the Clontarf program for the next three years.

“Today is a significant day in Coates Hire’s 135-year history, with the launch of our Reconciliation Action Plan and partnership with The Clontarf Foundation.  This affirms our commitment to help support communities and create positive change,” Stokes said.

“We are proud to have our plan endorsed and to be an active part of Australia’s reconciliation movement.”

Coates Hire CEO Murray Vitlich said the company has an incredibly diverse range of jobs, from customer service and sales to mechanics and engineering.

“We know we can make a difference through changes in the lives of individuals and families, and real improvements in workplaces and communities,” he said.

“That is why we see this plan not as an end in itself, but as the next important step in our commitment to improving the opportunities available to Indigenous communities across the country.

“As an Australian owned organisation, we must ensure our business reflects our diverse society, honours the place of our first peoples and, most importantly, contributes in a practical way to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

In addition, the company pledges to increase its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business procurement to five per cent of suppliers engaged in a tender, and one per cent of total supplier spend contracted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned businesses by 2022.

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