The Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) started their journey as the Royal National Institute for the Preservation of Lives and Property from Shipwreck, which was founded in 1824. Perhaps they found the name too unwieldy, as it was changed in 1854, and remains the same today.
The RNLI are a charity founded upon and driven by values of selflessness, courage, dependability and trustworthiness. Around 95% of the workforce is made up of volunteers, though these people are supported by expert staff. Most of the work the RNLI do is about prevention rather than taking reactive measures. So a large part of what the paid staff do centers around campaigning for changes in attitudes and behaviour of those at risk. This could be as simple as giving talks to local groups, or even working on creating videos to be used online and on television.
The RNLI College is based in Poole, and is the heart of all their training. It is also a hotel, conference venue, wedding venue and event venue like no other. You can stay at the RNLI college, eat in the restaurant, drink in the cafe, buy gifts in the shops, attend gatherings and tours, or even host your own event! All the money you spend within the College gets put towards helping save lives at sea. The RNLI, as a charity, rely heavily on such ventures, along with regular donations from the public. Should you choose to work for the charity, you may be involved in fundraising campaigns, to ensure that the work of the RNLI can continue for years to come.
It’s important to note that employees of the charity don’t often start out with a lot of maritime expertise - should you need such knowledge, plenty of training is provided. One of the key values of the RNLI is having a strong safety culture, so you would never be put at risk.
Employees believe that the RNLI have a friendly environment to work in, where you can learn new things each day. Employees and volunteers alike also demonstrably care about the cause of the company, and the steps taken to move forward. As the charity is very community based, the team always feels close-knit, and you become part of the family when you work for the RNLI.
The administration team is furthermore constantly trying to be more forward thinking, modern and inclusive, so that the company can be proud of the direction it’s heading in. While the RNLI is proud of its heritage and history, they still strive for innovation and embrace new technologies. They encourage anyone with new ideas to come forward, no matter how small, as even tiny changes within such an institution can make a big difference, and even save lives.
The RNLI offers flexible working hours, along with generous pension scheme contributions. They also provide annual leave allocations, which increase in length in tandem with your length of service with the company, along with paid bank holidays.
Perhaps the biggest draw to the company though, is the job satisfaction. Employees have stated that nothing quite beats the feeling that you’ve made a difference.