In Australia, the FIFO work in the minerals industry is common and it has always been a tough job. FIFO workers literally fly into the mine site; then, after their roster is over, they will fly out back home – hence, the name.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, FIFO workers were immediately impacted. Border restrictions and quarantine requirements meant that FIFO workers commonly had to work away from their families for up to six months at a time. That said, even prior to the pandemic Australia has experienced a shortage of FIFO workers in the mining industry.
The increase in demand for iron ore and gold has required more production output which means more job opportunities. Up to the present, there are a lower number of enrolments in mining engineering courses and geology. Added to this, international FIFO workers have limited access due to the intermittent hard borders.
FIFO workers lucky enough to be a part of the industry, commonly enjoy attractive salary packages, albeit for long shift hours;
- salary ranges from $1,200 to $2,000 a week
- catered food
- free accommodation
- free shuttle plane
Plus, it’s typically quite easy to save money when working in the FIFO industry because you’re away from the temptation to spend for much of the time. In Australia, some companies also offer a pay rise when you reach the third month of employment.
Interested to get involved with FIFO work but don’t yet have the experience?
You’re in luck because we have come up with our top five tips to getting FIFO work with less or without experience.
- Obtain the minimum safety and medical certification
The Australian government requires you to obtain the minimum safety and medical certification. Even without experience, you can have a better chance of landing a FIFO mining job. Companies like Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue welcome applicants with no experience. They will provide training to newbies, which are an excellent opportunity to start your career in the mining industry.
- Consider moving near to mining regions
If you are living near the mining regions or hotspots like Pilbara, Karratha, Port Hedland , Kalgoorlie in WA; Mount Isa, Bowen and Galilee Basins in Qld, then you can have a higher chance of getting a FIFO work. These areas have more job opportunities that even the Federal government is giving out money to move to these regions.
- Take an entry-level job.
There are a lot of entry-level jobs that you can choose from even if you are non-skilled – hospitality, bus driving, landscaping, cleaning jobs, kitchen jobs or catering jobs, and more. The key is to get into the door of mining jobs. Once you are there, you can assess yourself, see if the industry suits you best. Then, you can decide to take full quals for better career opportunities.
- Go into the world of Shutdown support.
For FIFO workers, getting an entry-level job as Shutdown support is one of the great way to start the ball rolling in the mining industry. One of the reasons is because in order to get into a Shutdown support role you need to have your qualification, certificates, and inductions complete. When you work for an agency that provides shutdown support, they will often pay for your inductions. Once you’ve got all your inductions and certificates signed off by the mine site, you’re a much better prospect for continued work either with the Shutdown company or with the site itself.
- Get your qualifications with Trade Skills Australia
If you are a skilled worker but non-qualified, your chances of getting into FIFO work improves for Trades Assistants that take the next step towards a full qualification. Trade Skills Australia helps engineering TA’s get their quals to take the next step in their career and get you better employment in Australia.
Is it time to get the job you want with the qualification you need? Contact us and find out how we can help you today!