Contributors to worker induced job separation in fly‐in/fly‐out work arrangements; evidence from Northern Australia

Pryce, Josephine, Babacan, Hurriyet, Blackman, Anna, Case, Peter, Eagle, Lynne, Low, David, Lynch, Paul, Moscardo, Gianna, Murphy, Laurie, and Welters, Riccardo (2013) Contributors to worker induced job separation in fly‐in/fly‐out work arrangements; evidence from Northern Australia. In: Papers from the International Symposium: Contemporary issues in long‐distance commute work in the extractive industries and other sectors. From: International Symposium: Contemporary issues in long‐distance commute work in the extractive industries and other sectors, 8-10 July 2013, Vienna, Austria. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Population centres in Northern Australia concentrate along the coast line (the cities of Darwin and Broome in the west and Cairns and Townsville in the east), while the inland region exhibits small villages/towns scattered across space. However, the inland area is also rich in mineral resources. Given the small sized populations in the inland regions, local labour markets are too thin for the extractive industries to rely on finding qualified personnel. To meet their human resources requirements, the extractive industries have to draw workers from the dense labour markets in the coastal cities and subsequently develop fly‐in/fly‐out arrangements to interested city workers. Notwithstanding the attractive remuneration packages that the extractive industries offer, they struggle to meet their human resources needs through recruitment from city workers interested in fly‐in/fly-out work in the extractive industry. In light of these recruitment difficulties, the extractive industry's retention policies are of crucial importance.

This paper will focus on the drivers of worker induced job separation. We exploit a unique data set of nearly 500 workers who (1) reside in either Cairns or Townsville (we surveyed fly‐in/fly‐out workers both at Cairns and Townsville Airport), (2) work elsewhere in Australia in the extractive industries and industries associated with the extractive industries (mainly construction) and (3) commute to work by plane. The written survey was conducted over a four week period in October / November 2012.

Besides a comprehensive set of demographic information, we collected information about their job (including type of contract, occupation, work roster, shift length and remuneration levels), educational background, their work experience (in and outside the extractive industries and as a fly‐in/fly‐out worker), quality of onsite accommodation, and their actual and desired intensity of social interaction with family and friends, while both at home and at work. Furthermore we asked to rate the percent chance they would voluntarily leave their current job within the next 12 months, which we use as an indicator of the likelihood of worker induced job separation. The findings from this paper are especially relevant to human resources departments of mining companies and policy makers attempting to create city hubs for fly‐in/fly‐out workers.

Item ID: 32654
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Keywords: job separation, contributors, FIFO
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2014 04:57
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150305 Human Resources Management @ 80%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1599 Other Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 159999 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services not elsewhere classified @ 20%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910402 Management @ 80%
91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910499 Management and Productivity not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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