Our Marketing Manager Julie takes a quirky look at the Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) mining job opportunities and what they have in common with the local bird life:
What is the difference between a gannet, a kiwi and FIFO?
Two are high fliers, and the other is a flightless native bird.
Well, to be totally factual, the dear kiwi has no real choices on being grounded, coupled with being an endangered species treasured by New Zealanders. Now the gannet is a whole other story, having the freedom to fly around the world, eking out a living, meeting up with old friends and making new ones.
Then there’s FIFO (a.k.a. fly in fly out) which is not a feathered bird (but let’s not forget that flight is the operative word here) but best known by miners and mining companies who bid for miners then fly them out to billion dollar mining projects. So, miners and gannets both share a common goal – of making a living involving the move from one country to another.
Miners’ specialisation, skills and motivation to move to other countries means they have opportunities galore to live and learn new cultures, and can potentially earn a good living to support themselves and their families.
Did you know?
- Mining companies will make bids to attract miners
- There are great locations in Western Australia and Latin America
- Accommodation and meals are provided in comfortable environments
- You have the chance to go home on a regular basis
Now getting back to the moral of story, you may see there are a few parallels between our gannet and the FIFO miner, while the kiwi bird is clearly a rank outsider with no ability to take flight. Unlike you – so visit our website and check out those hot jobs and start your FIFO missions – what are you waiting for?
Reckon you’ve got what it takes to work in the mines? Hays have released some interesting thoughts about who’s most suited to the mining life.
What it takes to succeed in a fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) role, according to Hays:
- A willingness to work in remote locations
- An ability to cope with the lack of services while onsite and the distance from family and friends
- A genuine interest in the industry
- The right attitude and adherence to compliance and the ability to deal with risk and rigour
- The ability to commit to a project long-term
The pros and cons of a FIFO role:
- Personal expenses can be reduced when living on site for extended periods
- Long periods off can lead to more time at home and with families
- Stronger sense of community at work
- Opportunity to pursue other pursuits in time off
- Long time away from home can impact on family and personal life negatively
- Rigid work schedules can result in important family occasions or community events being missed
- A nomadic lifestyle poses challenges to social life and to wellbeing
- Some onsite facilities don’t provide much privacy with shared rooms and bathrooms
Fly in Fly Out – or FIFO as it is more commonly referred to – is a method of employing people for remote country locations which is very commonly used in Western Australia. As an alternative to relocating entire families to often remote locations, the employee is flown to the work site for a number of days, and then flown home again.
Employers prefer their workers to be FIFO as the cost of transporting employees to site is far less than it would be to build, maintain and develop long term communities. Employees may prefer the FIFO opportunity as their families are often reluctant to relocate to small towns in remote areas.
What should I expect?
Mine Workers in Australia
Rosters dictate how long you are on site, and how long you are home. Most rosters offered are 4 weeks on site and 1 week at home – 4:1 however these rosters vary depending on the project and the site.
Usually a FIFO position involves working a shift of 10 hours each day for a number of continuous days. When on site, you will be supplied with all meals, accommodation, house-keeping – some camps also offer swimming pools, tennis courts, gyms, cable TV and unlimited internet as a way of attracting and retaining skilled staff.
Read on for more on what’s driving the industry here in Australia and how you can get your FIFO job: