Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Whatever skills you may have, we can support you in developing a rewarding career whilst making a difference and contributing to saving lives.

 

Working for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency

MCGA Colleagues

Looking to balance fatherhood with a rewarding professional career? The MCA offers a variety of flexible opportunities.

  • Are you a working professional looking for more flexibility to be present in family life?
  • Are you empowered to drive your career forwards?
  • You may need to do the school run, care for a sick child or would just like to be more present in family life.

The MCA strives to offer more flexible opportunities to help balance fatherhood with your career, that means investing in modern technology, so you can work from home and encouraging part-time working arrangements or chances to job share. Several of our roles enjoy shift working arrangements, which means a move away from the usual 9-5 and more time with your family.

You can join the MCA without a maritime background

There’s a wide spectrum of career paths available at the MCA. As well as our marine surveyors, technical managers and engineers we have colleagues in industries including, HR, IT, communications and HM coastguard that joined us with no maritime background. They all work together to achieve our vision to be the best maritime safety organisation in the world.

Getting the best from your Career

Working for the MCA means working for a world class organisation. What we do matters; our work affects people every single day. Whether at the beach, coast or sea, people rely on our 24-hour emergency service 365-days a year, whilst our surveyors operate to ensure high standards of safety for all boats, protecting the welfare of our seafarers and affecting change both in the UK and internationally.

The MCA holds the Investors in People Silver Award and will support you with regular training and development opportunities. We offer a competitive benefits package with an attractive pension scheme, generous holiday allowance, shared parental leave plus much more.

Opportunities exist all around the UK, with headquarters in Southampton and 20 other coastal offices.
Whatever skills or background you may have, we can support you in developing a rewarding career whilst making a difference and contributing to saving lives.

The MCA

The MCA works together with our partners and stakeholders to prevent the loss of life at sea and on the coast in the UK.We producelegislation on maritime matters and guidance to help follow the rules.

Maritime safety is a worldwide priority. What we do matters; our work affects people every single day. Whether at the beach, coast or sea, people rely on our 24-hour emergency service 365-days a year, whilst our surveyors operate to ensure high standards of safety for all boat users around the globe. Our staff understand the significance of their work and its contribution towards our vision to be the best maritime safety organisation in the world.

Opportunities exist all around the UK, with headquarters in Southampton and 20 other coastal offices.

Our People Matter

We understand the importance of work/ life balance, especially for those with families or caring responsibilities. Flexible working hours, job share opportunities,wellbeing support and diversity training are just a few examples of our dedication to creating an inclusive environment for everybody.

We offer a competitive benefits package with an attractive pension scheme, generous holiday allowance, childcare vouchers plus much more.

Whether you’re starting out on your career journey, changing paths or joining us as an experienced professional, you’ll be involved in saving and improving lives.

Case Study:

So, I’d found the dream job – but how was I going to make it work?
I’d worked shifts in the past, but not here in the UK, nor with a full-time working wife and three-year-old son. Day shifts would be long, night shifts would take me out of action for 24 hours, there would no reliable pattern for Hannah to rely on and plan around, and I’d miss out on weekends with Rupert.

And with us having only just moved to this country it all just looks too impractical. I’ll find something more routine. A nine-to-fiver.
But.

The job is in operations. My background. I know and understand the 24/7 operational environment, with all its different rhythms and nuances, boredoms and excitements, challenges and rewards. It’s in my bones. So, y’know, swings and roundabouts…

…so how about I – sorry, we – give it a try?

If it doesn’t work out, I can always hop on the Monday-Friday gravy train.

Yeah? Yes, alright. Okay then. Deep breath and…

First thought, the job: Maritime Operations Controller in Her Majesty’s Coastguard, responsible for the tactical command of search and rescue missions in the UK coastal and maritime domain. A Controller gains and maintains situational awareness of all incidents requiring an operational response, and continually assesses the effectiveness of that response. Simply put, we ensure the Coastguard and its SAR partners are doing their level best to save lives and return loved ones to their friends and family. What we do matters. It’s as rewarding as it sounds. And working for HM Coastguard means you’re part of the Civil Service, with all its attendant benefits: decent salary, job security, nice pension, excellent workplace support provisions. So good on all fronts.

Oh. Wait. Hang on.

Back to the 24-7-365 shift work conundrum.

Deep breath and…

…we needn’t have worried. Turned out to be, without any measure of exaggeration, perfect for us as a family. Why? Because I work 12-hour shifts. Now, before those of you who work only 8 hours turn white and whisper ‘12 hours?! but that’s insane…’ most people travel to and from work during peak period and can add at least 30-60 minutes to their day getting to work, and then, that again getting home. But I’m travelling to and from work before and after the peak congestion so my commute is negligible (and I’m in the south, where normally you can walk five miles on the roof of cars without touching the ground).

Better yet, the real benefit is that 12-hour shifts mean many more days off in a year. You push together my annual working days and you’d get about six months’ worth. So that’s six months a year when I’m not working. And that’s before I take leave. Which we get more of, as compensation for being rostered 365.

And what that means is that half the week every week I get my lad ready and take him to and from school (he’s six now) and spend time with him in the afternoons. I do more than half the housework (yes, really, ask Hannah) because I’m at home even more than she is, so we rarely, if ever, have issues on the domestic front.I get time to myself during weekdays, and those working weekends (two out of every five weekends) and nights are mitigated by the extra leave we get. The roster pattern is structured and set, so I can tell Home Command™ what days I’m working in two years’ time, which she really appreciates, being the family planner.

All that time off during the week also means I rarely miss those special events: the lad’s school assembly performance, volunteering to help on an outing, and so on. And with my wife working only four days a week, we often get a Friday off together with – gasp – the lad at school. It’s like a six-hour holiday most weeks, and we try and make the most of it.

So sure, there are times when you’re dog-tired after two-night shifts (we never work more than three nights in a row, and that only happens once every five weeks, in case you’re asking), or you work a weekend when the rugby’s on. But swings and roundabouts. Because it’s great knowing that I’m contributing to our household both financially and domestically in a very real and equal sense, and my relationship with both lad and wife are the better for it. And really, in the end, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Duncan Ley, one of our Maritime Controllers at the National Maritime Operations centre in Fareham. 

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