Maritime and Coastguard Agency
3.5 out of 5 stars.
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Maritime and Coastguard Agency Employee Reviews for Operations Officer

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There is a real disconnect between the training provided and the requirements of the operational role. There is also a high turnover of staff with the result that new staff are not accepted readily into the organisation until they have been there a few months and demonstrate their intention to stay. The job does have its good points but is not for everyone.
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I lost my dad a week before starting with the agency, during the very emotional time i still manged to pass required exams. My mum was then diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 4 months to live. I failed exams as i was suffering a complete breakdown. Instead of offering me support and understanding they chose to sack me. Management need to undergo mental health awareness training and develop compassion for their workforce. I felt that as the team i worked for where not complying with the national structure, i was used as a scapegoat to bring them all in line. If i had been emotionally stronger at the time i would have taken them to unfair dismissal tribunal.
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shift work between 7am - 7pm, 12 hour night and day shifts on a 24/7 rota. Team work, your performance in role depends on your team. Most enjoyable part of the job is saving life and the culture of a can do attitude. Worst part was corrupt managers who don't give a great deal of support to people not from a maritime background. As a result there is a high staff turn over and senior managers are not perturbed or bothered by this. I found the role hard to pick up and support was very limited. You rely on your team and vice versa and it is a good place to start if you want to work up the ranks into a more senior position. It is however very limited to being a specific profession and development opportunities are few and far between, and depend on the relationship you have with your manager, which usually boils down to if they like you.
Pros
atmosphere, ethic and morality of the job
Cons
stress, lack of healthy lifestyle
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Although the shifts are 12 hours, the benefits outweigh the time spent sitting in front of a computer screen. A great bunch of people to work with and more than enough excitement. Job satisfaction can be above the norm.
Pros
Shift pattern
Cons
Long periods of inactivity
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I worked in a busy Operations Room handling telephone and radio call from members of the public and mariners of all sorts. My primary function was to assist persons in distress by tasking appropriate units to search and rescue as appropriate. More routine tasks included providing weather and navigational warnings on a regular basis. Our teams (of six at night, 12 during the day) covered the UK south coast basically from Beachy Head to Brixham. At times we also provided cover for the West Country and Welsh coasts while local stations were being upgraded. My knowledge of search and rescue, and counter pollution operations has been greatly improved during my time with the MCA.
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