The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, goes to Western Australia today in search of hundreds of fly-in fly-out jobs for Tasmanians.

Mr Wilkie has arranged a meeting between mining giant Fortescue Metals and Tasmanian recruitment firm Searson Buck.

“Tasmania has the highest unemployment rate of any state in the country and a lot of skilled Tasmanians are now out of work,’’ Mr Wilkie said.

“If we can help Tasmanians to get lucrative fly-in fly-out jobs in Western Australia then they won’t have to uproot their families to find work; moreover their wages will be spent in Tasmania and the workers will still be Tasmania-based and ready to rejoin the local workforce when the State’s economy improves.

“Mining companies readily fly people in and out from all parts of Australia and do not view the cost of flying workers from Tasmania as a deterrent.’’

On Thursday, Mr Wilkie and Searson Buck executive director Maurice Hine will meet with Fortescue Metals’ human resources manager Linda Dawson to discuss the idea. Mr Wilkie will also meet separately with Fortescue’s chairman Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest.

The meetings have come about after Mr Hine and Taroona-based fly-in fly-out worker John Bourke brought the proposal to Mr Wilkie and asked for his help.

“It’s possible that many hundreds of Tasmanians jobs could be involved if the idea takes off so I was delighted to facilitate this meeting and can be counted on to look for other opportunities to promote jobs for Tasmanian workers,’’ Mr Wilkie said.