North Queensland Toyota Cowboys player Brent Tate was a guest of honour at a celebration for graduates of the Coles First Steps Indigenous training program in Townsville today.

The First Steps program was developed by Coles in 2011 in conjunction with the Australian Government.

The three-week pre-employment program, which provides Indigenous people with comprehensive in-store training and employment, was facilitated in Townsville by Innovative Solutions.

The 10 Indigenous job seekers graduating from the program are about to take up positions with Coles stores around the city.

Coles general manager for Queensland Mark Scates said Coles had made a concerted effort to generate employment opportunities in the region.

“We’re pleased to welcome 10 Indigenous graduates from the First Steps program to the Coles team,” he said.

“Coles has an Australia-wide commitment to providing employment and career opportunities for Indigenous Australians and our First Steps program has proven to be incredibly successful in providing a pathway into employment for participants.”

In addition to Innovative Solutions, the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have also been engaged by Coles to provide ongoing mentoring support to all First Step participants.

North Queensland Cowboys mentor Pat Hoolihan was enthusiastic about what the future holds for the graduate group.

“The graduates have been a pleasure to work with,” she said.

"For me it's about showing the younger generations that they can get out there, work and do something with their lives.

“I’m confident these participants will be great additions to the Coles team.”

Brent Tate congratulated the group on graduating.

“The Cowboys are proud to support the Coles First Steps program.

"Our Indigenous mentors will play an important role in supporting the participants as they commence their careers at Coles.”