Labour Market Analysis Report: Virgin Blue Airline

Labour demand and supply

The companies that sell products to end users based on the laws of supply and demand in the market become the purchasers in the labor market since they require employees to design products and do other sorts of things to ensure that the finished products meet the requirements of the end-users. Since no employee can render a free service, companies are compelled to go into the labor market so as to purchase labor according to their considerations.

Virgin Blue Airline determines the number of workers it demands based on some considerations. These are the costs it will incur on the labour (based on the Australian market wage), and the number of workers it needs to meet the current and predicted demands for doing business.

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The supply of labour in the Australian airline industry is determined by the amount of wages, salaries, as well as other benefits provided by the potential employers, and skilled workers tend to move from one employer to the other based on these influences. To make the conditions of work attractive, Virgin Blue Airline offers competitive pay, performance based rewards, travel allowances, study assistance, and many other benefits to potential employees (Virgin Blue Airlines, 2010).

Labour requirements for Virgin Blue Airline increased growth

Virgin Blue Airline, with a current market share of about twenty-eight percent in Australia’s airline industry, is increasingly growing to serve other routes around the world. For example, in the past one year, it has carried about 18.4 million international passengers (PPS Publications Ltd, 2010).

This increased growth implies that it will need additional employees to serve the increasing number of its customers. In this regard, the company will need to hire culturally diverse employees for it to succeed in doing global business. This will make it possible for the diverse workforce to bring different points of view in tackling issues in the airline company, which are invaluable for its success internationally.

More so, since the success of a modern organization requires different inputs from people with diverse skills and experiences, recruiting such people will ensure that Virgin Blue Airline benefits from the different range of experiences that they will be bringing along for its eventual success in the international market.

Since doing international business normally encounter several restrictions, for example, acceptance of the airline by the customers in another locality and customer-handling issues, Virgin Blue Airline will need to surmount these obstacles by hiring employees who are up to the task.

In addition, another associated labour requirements in this new market is to hire employees who can speak fluently other languages, apart from English. This will ensure that the company confronts the language barrier problem that can make it lose its customers if not properly addressed.

Analysis of Virgin Blue Airline existing workforce to determine areas of excesses and shortages

Virgin Blue Airline, launched on 31 August 2000 with less than three hundred employees, currently employs about three thousand workers, and the number is still growing. However, until recently, the company had been concentrating on employing younger workers who were below thirty-five years of age.

This raised questions about the company’s hiring process. For example, a group of eight mature former flight attendants sued the company for discrimination. They accused the airline company for not giving them jobs because they were above thirty-five years of age (Weller, 2006).

The company lost the case and compensated the former flight attendants. This implies that there are shortages of mature employees in the company and an excess of younger employees. It is important to note that experienced workers bring in the skills and attitudes that a company can utilize for its success, especially in the international market. Another area where there is shortage is in the number of female employees that the airline has.

This shortage has arisen because of the increased requirement to travel to other countries around the world. Since it becomes difficult to strike a balance between work and family commitments in such situation, a number of females have stayed away from working with the company.

Analysis of Virgin Blue Airline current workforce suitability to meet current and predicted demands for labour

In as much as Virgin Blue Airline had been concentrating on hiring younger employees, its current workforce has the capacity to meet the current and predicted demands for doing business in the aviation industry. The company has established an effective culture that ensures that its operations run smoothly.

The company has a top management team consisting of twelve professionals who have served in various capacities in the company since its inception ten years ago. Bruce Highfield, HR director for Virgin Blue, says, “Having a top team that really works effectively together is really half the battle. Culture starts at the top, and the leadership style of the boss is what filters down” (The Reed Group Ltd, 2010, para. 7).

Even though it has established a cohesive management team, the company goes at great lengths to recruit competent workers who are able to preserve its unique culture as well as meet its current demand for business and future expansion.

Besides the thorough recruitment process, the company ensures that its workers remain motivated and committed in accomplishing their duties by properly assigning tasks, carrying out employee appraisal programs, meeting their expectations, and involving the employees in different aspects of decision making within the company.

Analysis of current and predicted external labour supply data

Between 1980 and 2000, the Australian labour force has been increasing an estimated rate of two percent due to the full entry to the labour force market of the baby boom generation, increased participation of women, and overseas migration (McDonald & Temple, 2008, p.2). Currently, it is estimated that the country’s labor force is growing at 3.1 per cent per annum and this rate is falling (Australia Bureau of Statistics, 2010).

Moreover, this labour supply growth rate may fall further if there will be no international migration. Since Australia’s population is likely to grow, this will create a multiplier effect upon the demand for labour in the aviation industry. The country’s labour force is and will have to confront the difficulties of its ageing population. This difficulty will lead to possible replacement of the elderly labour force with young labour force resulting in certain labour shortfalls and skill gaps in the country’s airline industry.

Recommendations for workforce planning

Virgin Blue Airline has experienced incredible growth within a short time. Therefore, to ensure its continued success it should develop a workforce planning tool that ensures that its objectives are matched with the needs of the employees.

It can achieve this by identifying the key abilities of its potential future workforce, engaging in an accurate analysis of its current workforce numbers and capacity, carrying out a gap analysis to make a comparison between the projected workforce supply to the workforce demand forecast, developing workforce strategies and projected funding impact, and implementing and reviewing workforce plans.


Australia Bureau of Statistics, 2010. Labour Force, Australia, Sep 2010. [Online]

Australia Bureau of Statistics. Available at:[email protected]/mf/6202.0?opendocument#from-banner=LN [Accessed 3 November 2010].

McDonald, P. & Temple, J., 2008. Demographic and Labour Futures for Australia.

[Online] Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute. Available at:
[Accessed 3 November 2010].

PPS Publications Ltd, 2010. Virgin Blue’s growth coming from international routes; 18.4 million passengers carried in last 12 months. [Online] PPS Publications Ltd. Available at: [Accessed 3 November 2010].

The Reed Group Ltd, 2010. Breaking in a new culture: the Virgin Blue story. [Online]

Reed Elsevier Australia Pty Limited. Available at:
[Accessed 3 November 2010].

Virgin Blue Airlines, 2010. Benefits. [Online] Virgin Blue Airlines. Available at: [Accessed 3 November 2010].

Weller, S., 2006. Discrimination, Labour Markets and the Labour Market Prospects of Older Workers: What Can a Legal Case Teach Us? [Online] Victoria University, Melbourne. Available at: [Accessed 3 November 2010].


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