As the mining sector continues to prove a gold mine for jobs and companies desperate for willing workers, it’s no surprise that flying in and flying out is becoming more popular with young professionals.
With natural resources a plenty in rural areas, FIFO – fly-in-fly-out, as it’s better known – is providing the opportunity for job seekers to work in remote areas without the need to relocate.
What is FIFO work?
FIFO or otherwise “Fly-in-fly-out” is the term used to describe someone who flies to a job site to complete work (usually over the course of a week or two) before flying home when the job is done.
Typically, the role is reserved for people who have to complete jobs in rural towns or when they are not within driving distance. DIDO (drive-in-drive-out) operates similarly but instead workers commute via car or bus – trips generally take around half a day.
While they work away from home, usually their accommodation, meals and some recreational activities are covered by their employer. The pay is also significant to make up for the inconveniences.
FIFO workers also work long hours – usually 12-hour shifts – and seven days a week on site with very little downtime. The most common roster arrangements are 14 days on, 14 days off and 7 days on 7 days off.
Despite the benefits, plenty of FIFO workers struggle with their mental health due to the long periods of time spent away from family and friends. It’s harder to make social engagements and attend important milestones for your kids. With locations in rural areas, workers also have to deal with extreme conditions.
As such, state governments have implemented support programs to help workers who may be at risk.
How do you get into FIFO work with no experience?
Although mining opportunities are the most common form of FIFO work, a lot of other industries are prepared to fly you in and out. From cleaners to kitchen staff, there is a huge variety of options available.
For many workers with no experience, jobs are available in roles that demand long hours and which are physically laborious. Entry level jobs include driving machinery and carrying heavy equipment. Although some employers don’t expect experience, if you work in the mines, you’re still required to do an induction cause in mining so you understand the safety protocols.
Consider some of the transferable skills you may have. Job sites still need other staff apart from those working the mines, especially in the hospitality sector. Once you manage to pick up FIFO work, it’s much easier to move around and up the job ladder.
Where is the most FIFO work in Australia?
There are approximately 60,000 FIFO workers in Australia and this is fuelled by the large resource sector in the country. With a strong demand for our exports, many mining companies require a huge workforce in remote areas.
In the country, because most FIFO work is done in the mines, the biggest opportunities are in Western Australia. While there are many jobs in Perth, you can also find work on the other side of the country. Islands like the Whitsundays have a huge demand for FIFO workers, especially in the hospitality sector. Luxurious resorts are always on the lookout for kitchen staff who can fly in, fly out.
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