Darwin our new target for FIFO
DARWIN has been earmarked as a priority target as the campaign to establish Cairns as a leading fly-in/fly-out hub ramps up.
The Far North's fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) co-ordinator Jeremy Blockey said the Northern Territory capital would provide a two-fold source of jobs -- in the mining sector and in construction.
But he said job seekers would need to upgrade their skills to meet the requirements of employers.
"There is very low unemployment in Darwin, the large cost of housing and a shortage of skills there," he said.
Mr Blockey said not only were there jobs in the resources sector, but in construction too, as the city rushed to build apartment blocks to house mining workers.
"We have good (flight) connections to Darwin, it's a two-and-a-half hour flight and it's a similar tropical environment to here," Mr Blockey said.
He said his employer Skills DMC was to undertake two surveys to try to ascertain the level of skills in the region.
One would survey FIFO workers as they passed through Cairns airport during the next month while another would target job seekers looking for work in the sector.
Mr Blockey said the FIFO project would be considering how to build capacity and skills.
He said despite publicity that mining companies were "pulling back" there were still many viable projects.
Skills DMC projects director Chris White said the skills of existing FIFO workers had to be ascertained as well as those looking for jobs.
"We need to capture the people out there looking for work as FIFOs. The challenge will be how to connect with them," he said.
Mr White said it would be up to the mining companies to tell them what training was required.
"The industry will drive this process," he said.
Mr Blockey said there was little point training people on a whim and the training could only occur once the recruiting started when the companies identified the people they needed.
He said it would be up to Skills DMC to "fill the gaps" in training. "But we are not starting with a blank sheet. We just need to build on the skills required," he said.
Last week the two men updated the business community on the FIFO project. Organisations involved included the Queensland Resources Council, Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA, Cairns Regional Council, Cairns Airport, Cairns Chamber of Commerce, The Cairns Institute JCU, TAFE, and Advance Cairns.
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New focus: Far North fly-in/fly-out co-ordinator Jeremy Blockey said the Northern Territory capital would provide a two-fold source of jobs.