FIFO – Fly-in, Fly-out Phenomenon is a Sign of Skills Shortage


The fly-in, fly-out phenomenon is a signal of change with the skills shortage: workers no longer live where jobs are expanding. Getting people to move their lives for work is one of the largest drivers of skills shortages in regional Australia. According to the ABS, 7000 people relocated to Western Australia from the east in the 12 months to last September. This is little for a state that has attracted up to 48,000 people from overseas. A federal government discussion paper released by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency – which replaced Skills Australia – found that little to no labour mobility was a big problem in regional areas. A government incentive to encourage people to move attracted only 584 relocations to regional areas and 60 per cent of them moved within (or to) New South Wales or Queensland. In comparison, only 8 per cent of applicants were willing to move from east to Western Australia and only 8 per cent said yes to relocating for jobs in the mining industry.


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