30th Jan 2012, 16:13
Hey guys, this is my first time posting here so let me start by introducing myself. I am 18, unemployed (Not my fault, the unemployment rate here is the highest in the country) and I am not planning on attending University because it almost voids itself now and people leaving Uni are in a similar state as me anyway; except with a ridiculous debt. I have been wanting to join Air Traffic for many years and have visited Airfields in the past.
Anyway my question is this; to get a foot in the door in the Air Traffic industry do you guys think it would be beneficial to do the ASTAC ATCA course?
The reason I ask is when I contact towers about any vacancies they shun me aside, understandably so as in this economic climate there are people being laid off all the time, and why pay for someone to go through training when they can get already qualified people to do the same job.
It's also £1,000 which may not seem like much, but to us unemployed folk that's a large chunk of money.
So do you reckon it would be worthwhile?
30th Jan 2012, 16:52
It will certainly show you are keen, but in my opinion it wont get you any further up the queue.
There are plenty of people with un-validated ATCO licenses from private colleges kicking around at the moment that you are unlikely to get taken on with a view to paying for your training as well.
The best route in remains NATS - its tough and I know right now there is a bit of a back log but the demand is there long term. The best thing you can do is get as much exposure to the industry and get some knowledge about air traffic so when you can apply it will help you get through the selection process .
I think you would be better off getting some aviation insight - can you get a job at an airfield doing anything, is there a flying or gliding club near you where you can help out for free in exchange for a few passenger flights with a headset on or experience in the tower with a FISO.
Without jobs out there, the course you mention sounds like a waste of £1000 to me.
30th Jan 2012, 17:17
I would like to suggest a different method.
Why donít you see if you can get a job in ops, or general airfield duties (dogs body) at one of the GA airports situated around the country? Some of them have live in accommodation.
In a few months time they will be gearing up for the summer and will be looking to take on staff. The hours will be long and you will be on minimum wage to start with, but it will be a foot in the aviation door from which you will meet some interesting and useful people. At the same time you will be gaining some hands on experience.
You will also have some fun and get the opportunity to do a bit of flying.
I do know people who have done the same on gone on to great things, including becoming airline pilots and Air Traffic controllers.
If you would like some further information then send me a PM (Private message) and I will be happy to answer any questions and point you in the right direction should you like to follow things up.
What ever you decide, good luck :ok:
30th Jan 2012, 17:46
I'm with flybywire on this one.
I got into Air Traffic in a similar way ... well worth it.
Whilst doing the GA airfield dogs body - try flying clubs and the like too - you can still apply to NATS.
I would really stress that the £1000 course will probably not get you very far. A Meteorological Observers Cert from the met office would prob be money better spent.
But I think it's worth keeping in your pocket mate, not someone elses.