Half of FIFOs will change jobs in next year

October 9th 2013, Sarah-Jane Tasker, The Australian.

MINING workers on fly-in, fly-out rosters are reportedly satisfied with their work arrangements but will change jobs in the next year to chase a higher salary.

A six-month study released by the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute found job satisfaction was relatively high but that despite this, almost half reported they intended to change jobs in the next 12 months. A desire for higher pay, better work-life balance and career advancement were the reasons given for changing jobs.

Mary Anne Barclay, of the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, who led the research, said one of the benefits of FIFO work was that it enabled skilled people to chase promotions. “It offers greater work advancement opportunities because it doesn’t matter if you’re based in Brisbane or Perth, you can climb the next peg of the career ladder at any mine site in Australia,” she said.

“Your options are wide open to you if you’re ambitious.”

The study also said FIFO workers were after more personal space and quiet time to communicate with family and friends to boost their wellbeing and job satisfaction.

“Contrary to popular assumptions that employees enjoy the ‘resort feel’ of some modern FIFO accommodation, our findings suggest that FIFO workers are more interested in quiet, comfortable rooms,” she said.

The study concluded that given 44 per cent of respondents were intending to change jobs in spite of retrenchments in the sector, they were obviously confident of being able to find a new role and expected the high demand for their skills to continue.

Ms Barclay, who led the research with the Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre’s Associate Professor Philipp Kirsch, interviewed almost 300 mostly well-educated mid-career professionals in technical and managerial roles.

“This study is unique for this industry in that 70 per cent of respondents held a university degree and 40 per cent were female,” Associate Professor Kirsch said.

Almost three-quarters of respondents earned more than $100,000 a year and they primarily worked in Western Australia and Queensland.

The majority of participants commuted more than 1000km, with most taking about half a day to get to and from work.

The journey times exceed the averages reported in an industry survey in Western Australia in 2005 that reported the average journey time for FIFO operations was 2.5 hours.

Read more http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/half-of-fifos-will-change-jobs-in-next-year/story-e6frg9df-1226735056831


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