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  • choices, choices...

    After 3 years of trying, I have been accepted for RFA (just passed the RFAIB 2nd time around) and Meridian Marine within 2 weeks of one another.... are there any current cadets with Meridian who can tell me what life is like with them?
    Really split between the two offers...
    Which ever company I choose, I'll start this September, don't know which college though>>>>>>

  • #2
    Re: choices, choices...

    Training in the RFA is very good , i think the RFA send there deck cadets to Fleetwood and warsash
    Maybe I will never be
    All the things that I want to be
    But now is not the time to cry
    Now's the time to find out why

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: choices, choices...

      The RFA Training Officer said Fleetwood for the next, Meridian siad they tend to put newbies 'far away from home' to get a taste of life away.
      The College isn't so much an issue for me, more the company choice, (v. lucky to have a choice, I know). Whilst the RFA stands out, the reduancy thing & MOD reductions are a worry.......
      Meridian seem to have a sound 'after care' training and promotion set up, so.......

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      • #4
        Re: choices, choices...

        Hmm RFA training is rather prestigous , i dont know if there getting rid of the Juniors . there is a RFA officer on here hed be your best bet. good luck
        Maybe I will never be
        All the things that I want to be
        But now is not the time to cry
        Now's the time to find out why

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: choices, choices...

          Cheers,
          Top tip Beef, will investigate further........

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: choices, choices...

            There is currently at least one RFA guy on the January intake at Warsash.

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            • #7
              Re: choices, choices...

              Originally posted by goonhilly
              Whilst the RFA stands out, the reduancy thing & MOD reductions are a worry.......
              Cadets are NOT going to be made redundant. RFA management have stated categorically that recruitment will continue. They have referenced the problems resulting from the last time recruitment was suspended and expressed a strong unwillingness to repeat the mistake. AIUI cadet recruitment is carrying on as usual whilst rating recruitment has been on hold but will probably restart in the new financial year.

              They don't guarantee jobs after cadetship any more, but apart from a few problem children AFAIK all recent cadets have been offered contracts on qualifying.

              There is a "personnel reduction" programme under way - but it isn't called "redundancy" yet - to reduce RFA personnel by 400, including 150 officers. This year it's Voluntary Early Release offered to all personnel with a compensation package almost identical to that for voluntary redundancy. If not enough volunteer then next year it will be voluntary redundancies, and only the year after that perhaps compulsory redundancies. I expect they will get close to the 400 just with the present voluntary scheme, a lot of people have been putting in for it. The prospect of (up to) 21 months pay in your pocket and then taking early retirement or walking into a job in the commercial world has a certain appeal to a lot of people.

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              • #8
                Re: choices, choices...

                Im in phase 3 with Meridian, they recently broke away from SSTG and have there own cadet program, far as i'm aware a job is promised at the end of the cadetship, along with them sponsoring you for tickets and a wage rise if you had your cadetship with them. They have mainly ro-ro's and ro-pax's, both coastal and deep sea, though they contract crews to private owners which include tankers, container and bulk.
                Life at sea is a life for me

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                • #9
                  Re: choices, choices...

                  Well im a Plymouth Uni Cadet but managed to secure Sea Time with Meridian Marine from last September. They have been so helpful and really keen on getting cadets involved. I have been lucky enough to serve on RO-ROs RO PAXs and a container for a short spell.

                  I have always found the level of training from Meridian officers Fantastic, i have recently just come of a RO PAX in ITaly and in my 8 weeks on board i have learnt so much, the ships are nice, the accomodation can be a bit pokey but who cares when you have Officers who are Keen.

                  I would not hesitate in recommending Meridian for future Cadets

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                  • #10
                    Re: choices, choices...

                    I looked into the RFA alot when I was doing my applications earlier this year and have to say they look great, I gt a place on the AIB but turned it down to accept an offer from Maersk,

                    Thing about the RFA is while the Navy shrinks the RFA will shrink with it plus as it's so small advancement through the ranks will be much slower. Unfortunately alot of the politicians see the RFA as something they can afford to cut without affecting the fleet, especially now that Maersk have said they will do their bit to support the Navy and all humanitarian operations.

                    On the other hand the RFA training is first class, they only take on around 10 cadets a year so you've done really well to get an offer and even if you decide the RFA isn't for you there aren't many companies who will turn down an RFA trained 3rd Officer, hope this helps

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                    • #11
                      Re: choices, choices...

                      Originally posted by perksy121
                      Unfortunately alot of the politicians see the RFA as something they can afford to cut without affecting the fleet, especially now that Maersk have said they will do their bit to support the Navy and all humanitarian operations.
                      Eh? Got a source for that; sounds a bit unlikely except on a commercial basis, and in which case so what?
                      '... English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't
                      just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages
                      down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for
                      new vocabulary.' - James Davis Nicoll

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                      • #12
                        Re: choices, choices...

                        I did, don't remember where from though sorry, saw it in a news article somewhere and heard it from some old sea captains that work with my dad. Maersk have always worked quite closely with the navy, Maersk Rapier for example gets loaned to them fairly regularly, also when there was talk of privatising the RFA, Maersk were first in line to buy them.

                        All I'm saying is that the Navy has other options if (God forbid) the recession gets worse and even more severe cuts have to be made.

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                        • #13
                          Re: choices, choices...

                          Maersk Rapier isn't "loaned" to the Navy, it's on charter to the MoD (i.e. they pay Maersk a commercially negotiated sum) for freighting fuel to and between MoD depots.

                          Maersk weren't looking to do anyone a favour by offering their services to the MoD, they were aiming to make money by eliminating the RFA and having MoD pay Maersk to do (some of) the job instead. Andrew Weir and James Fisher have been mentioned as being interested in the same - nice fat steady government contracts. Maersk run a lot of sealift ships on charter to the US Military Sealift Command, so they've got plenty form in the government/defence sector, but not in replenishment at sea which AFAIK is currently solely the preserve of navies and civilian auxiliaries like the RFA. Though BP tankers used to be fitted for replenishment, back in the day.

                          RFAs tend to be the last ships to be cut, since the admirals that head the RN realise that logistical capabilities are (or were) one of the things that set the RN apart from other navies of a similar size. That 3 RFAs have been cut as part of the recent SDSR is an indication of how desperate the measures are that the Navy has been driven to by the Treasury. Cuts aren't decided by ignorant politicians acting alone, they sign off on actions presented to them by their professional naval and civil service advisors.

                          Where do you get the idea that the RFA is "so small"? It's the largest employer of British seafarers. Not sure if it's the largest employer of British officers or not but must be one of the bigger players.

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                          • #14
                            Re: choices, choices...

                            Ah well sounds like my sources are a bit off but I was under the impression they worked quite closely with the RN and I was advised that the RFA would be quite risky as every now and then there is a bit of a panic about the cost and start looking for alternatives.
                            They've only gt 16 ships haven't they? Ah yeah but they employ British rates don't they? and they only sponsor 10 cadets a year or at least thats what I was told, of course I am just going by advice from retired sea captains and a young naval officer I met at the RAF Cosford Halloween party (and now that I think about it he was wearing a dress :S)

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                            • #15
                              Re: choices, choices...

                              Down to 13 ships, but each with a larger crew than most (any?) cargo ships. Each RFA has about as many officers as many commercial ships have total crew. Not sure excactly how many seagoing employees the RFA is coming down to, but somewhere around 1800-2000 after reductions.

                              Retired officers are a great source of information about how it was "back in the day" but are unlikely to have up-to-the-minute info on the current world, even if they do still network with HCMM or whatever. Young naval officers, and the RN in general, can be expected to be clueless about the RFA. I hope you didn't rely on that advice when deciding not to continue with your application. ;-)

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