ATC IssuesA place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.
Is there going to be a shortage of newly rated ATCOs in the UK during 2012 ?
I have been trying to recruit an Aerodrome validated ATCO or an ADC/APP rated ATCO for Dunsfold near Guildford for several months and have had a very poor response. The salary is in the high thirties, there is an APP course included and the post has prospects.
There was a time when there were a dozen to choose from so what is happening to the ladder if the new Aerodrome ATCOs are not there.
I have had applications from newly rated non-validated ADC ATCOs and I will allow one or two to validate their rating in the middle of next year so that they can get a step on the ladder, but where are the current crop ?
An APP rating isn't or wasn't being included in the Nats training.Therefore there are probably a few ADC people out there,either ex Nats or self funded,but very few APP trained.As for APS then even less or none that aren't employed already. I could say ££$$ but high 30s isn't going to attract many.
I've been told for a countless number of years there has always been a shortage, I'm still waiting to book my Stage 1 test date with NATS, I couldn't commit to a date between March-June due to final year at University and then they shut it down to new applicants and so I am part of the waiting game.
Is it that NATS are finding it difficult to find adequately skilled people to train? Or is it that the process of Stage 1 to the end is taking far too long? With NATS' review now taking place (again) in February, I can see 2012 being a year of 'how do we get rid of this bottleneck effect with the new college?'
It was always going to be difficult to attract ATCOs that are previously validated and experienced in ADI and APP.
Although geographically very different to Dunsfold, look at the problems Lydd had with attracting staff initially. I understand it is easier for them now they've had some Airfield development and therefore, what potential staff assume to be a 'future'.
Until Dunsfold is up and running with an IAP you're never going to attract many experienced ATCOs holding all the ratings you want, that said is Chevvron there?
PS. There's an Airfield not far from the River Roach with far more prospects and which recruited heavily last year and most of this year and offered more ££££ than you (and has a Mc Donald's on its door step), maybe that's where the current 'crop' are?
Right, now the more I read the more I doubts I have. NATS is a World Leader in Air Traffic Managment and it's a wealthy company. Yet;
According to heathrow director it seems as if there has always been a shortage in ATC's, why?.
And in regard to to what I have read in this forum about the current recruitment process, I can deduce that it is just not working out as they predicted, why not?
According to heathrow director it seems as if there has always been a shortage in ATC's
That was always the case when HD and I were at EGLL from, I think, '72 to '03. I don't ever recall us being up to complement. Put quite a strain on the staff on occasions, and a few heroics. Yes, I know, how sad, sound of violins...
When I was much younger, I applied for training once. At the interview I was told that they wouldn't take me on because I didn't have enough diplomas to qualify for becoming a controller, and I was overqualified for becoming an assistant controller so "I wouldn't be motivated enough in that job". So that closed the ATC door on me forever, in my country at least.
Later, I applied to become one of a team of three ATC/airfield ops at a small regional aerodrome in Denmark. I was accepted for ATC training, but my appointment was cancelled when a Danish national applied (I am not Danish).
Now I'm just too old to be considered fit for anything except life as a consumer, a private pilot playing Airline in my own plane, at least for as long as my office job earnings are enough to pay for it. But I still remember the pain of not being allowed through that professional door.
As things are beginning to drift I'll point out that there is not necessarily a shortage of controllers but more likely a shortage of controllers with useful skills, experience and competence.
As to the original post, maybe those with the requisite qualifications have weighed up the pros and cons of the offer and decided that either there's something better out there or that it just isn't worth it.
Right, now the more I read the more I doubts I have. NATS is a World Leader in Air Traffic Managment and it's a wealthy company. Yet; According to heathrow director it seems as if there has always been a shortage in ATC's, why?. And in regard to to what I have read in this forum about the current recruitment process, I can deduce that it is just not working out as they predicted, why not?
Everyone tends to look at their own units, and certainly LL is a special case. Certainly they still arent running a ful compliment of staff but its not just a case of recruiting more people. there are many who pass the rating course who are valid at other aerodromes who simply couldnt validate at Heathrow.
As far as general recruitment goes, I dont envy the NATS HR team one bit. Its a constant juggle of numbers and trying to predict what you might need and where not now, but 2-3 years hence.
NATS training is excellent, but it is also very thorough. NATS staff do more than is required by the EU for any rating. The pass rate at the college is around 65-70%, And I cant tell you what the validation rate is but it certainly isnt 100%. If I had to guess, Id say its probably eventually around 80%, but it does take some trainees a couple of goes (and a couple of units) to get there.
So take your pool of applicants, your actual traffic, your predicted traffic, your customer needs, your business needs, the fact that somewhere between 50% and 70% of all the staff you do manage to recruit will actually become useful operational atcos, the wider economy, the pressure on profit (as NATS are most certainly a priofit making entitiy now) and throw into the mix you are working 24-36 months ahead, a college move and the introduction of a completly new data handling system that all your current staff need training on as well and it starts to become understandable that the task is simply not as easy as saying 'anyone want to be an atco - great, sign here....'
just curious, why is LL a special case? 1 HUGE VCR, 6 ATCOs, plus a supervisor and someone to work the lights. Surely the busier a unit gets, the more the positions are split. 1 R/W for landing, 1 for T/O. O.K. it's busy for 99.9% of the time, but it's not rocket science.
"NATS HR Team". Well, 4 years ago, this "team" insisted I re-applied for my own job, so I spent a fun evening ferreting in the loft looking for my 1972 GCE grades which they needed on the application form. Notwithstanding global economic mis-management, 'peak oil' and the imminent eruption of Katla, (all of which are outside NATS's control), ATC staff planning isn't rocket science, especially for a Sunday Times Top 100 Company. I don't ever remember the EGLL recruiting team visiting our unit, looking for suitable experienced bods.
As for the last paragraph, many people are employed, on large salaries, to sort this stuff out. If they can't do it, then, (like the trainee ATCOs, whose lives they control), they should be sacked. It's not rocket science.
ah, thanks, that makes sense. Please don't think my first paragraph was designed to denigrate the work of the folks at 'LL, (TWR or APP). They do an absolutely amazing job which still fascinates me, even after 30 years of watching.
Interestingly, the HR director who departed earlier this year was "appointed in 1990 to set up a HR planning function". I wonder where it is?
Last edited by ZOOKER; 17th Dec 2011 at 16:00.
Reason: Spilling mistale.