Maritime UK Week: MCA led webinar – meet our presenters Maritime UK Week (12-18 October) kicks off today and is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the maritime sector, its role and future. As part of the week, hosted by Maritime UK, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will be presenting a webinar on Thursday (15 October) to look at the changing shape of the maritime workforce and the world of new opportunity it will create.
The session will be led by Mitch Burnett, HR Resource Manager from the MCA, and Lucy Dibdin, from our Maritime Future Technologies team. Ahead of the webinar, Mitch and Lucy tell us about their roles at the MCA, the rapidly evolving and exciting future career landscape, and a taster of what is to come at the session:
Lucy: I am fairly new to the organisation and I know what attracted me to the Maritime Future Technologies team, Mitch, but you’ve been here a year now, what drew you to the MCA?
Mitch: The underlying purpose of the organisation. No matter what role you are doing, you are contributing to our presence as a national emergency service that saves countless lives every single day within the Coastguard. In real terms, you are also contributing to the maritime safety of UK flag vessels all around the world, working to mitigate the environmental impact of the maritime industry and reducing carbon emissions.
Lucy: That is a massive plus – making an important environmental change for the planet as well as being an emergency service. It is a unique challenge.
Mitch: I think we are truly unified by our common goal – for us it is not just a strapline but a mission: Safer lives, Safer ships, Cleaner seas.
My previous roles in the private sector have always been commercially focused, so this is really refreshing. You see things from a new perspective. There is a lot more depth to what you do, and everything delivered contributes to that mission. We feel genuine empowerment to deliver, driven by an engaged and highly visible leadership team. It makes a difference. This leads to natural and authentic engagement from the work force. We are travelling along with them in driving important change, not just doing the work to get the wheels moving.
This is an organisation which is changing, adapting, moving purposefully towards the future. It is enabling rescue at sea with its innovative, second-generation search and rescue program and upgrade to our helicopter tech.
Lucy: Meanwhile, in other areas at the Agency, our Maritime Future Technologies team, policy and regulation teams are working on being at the forefront of emergent technologies to enable emission reduction and autonomous technology, two of the biggest ticket items of Maritime 2050. It is the start of a journey which will change the future careers landscape for sure.
Mitch: We have a seat at the table of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and our work inspires and drives updates on overseas policies for other nations to follow. This credibility makes the UK flag very special.
We will be leading a discussion around maritime careers – the nature of jobs in the sector will start to rapidly change over the next 10, 20, 30 years. The webinar is a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) event for careers advisors, and we will be providing insight about what skill sets will be needed.
Take autonomous technology as one example – to operate and oversee large vessels out in shipping lanes, we require experts in digital connectivity and highly skilled IT professionals. A vessel may also contain a hydrogen fuel cell to extend its range which would require professionals with a R&D power generation background.
We are entering a whole new world of hybrid skills and huge possibilities, and we are at the beginning of that journey. Now is an exciting time to join the MCA or a career in maritime and become part of that change.