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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 12th Jan 2018, 09:57
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A lot of recent talk seems to be suggesting that NATS are taking on more trainees. Is it likely their hiring figures (i.e. just 15 out of 3.5k applicants are successful) are now wrong and its actually much higher? I'm a little confused on the direction they seem to be taking - are they simply hiring more people, and possibly lowering the bar to get more people through, or are they taking on more trainees and the dropout rate at the college is higher?

I've got stage 3 in a few weeks and I'm not sure if I should ask questions like this there
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Old 12th Jan 2018, 16:22
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ATCOnoob1 I really would not worry about the NATS infographic. Just concentrate on trying to get offered a place as a TATC. If you are successful and you are given a course then you will have a score of things to get confused and worry about

Last edited by AyrTC; 12th Jan 2018 at 18:12.
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Old 12th Jan 2018, 22:54
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Originally Posted by ATCOnoob1
A lot of recent talk seems to be suggesting that NATS are taking on more trainees. Is it likely their hiring figures (i.e. just 15 out of 3.5k applicants are successful) are now wrong and its actually much higher? I'm a little confused on the direction they seem to be taking - are they simply hiring more people, and possibly lowering the bar to get more people through, or are they taking on more trainees and the dropout rate at the college is higher?

I've got stage 3 in a few weeks and I'm not sure if I should ask questions like this there
NATS want more controllers over the next few years not just more trainees.

They've upped their recruitment drive massively in the past 18/24 months, purely to meet increased demand through retirement etc. I don't necessarily think the figures have changed nor do I think they've made the tests any easier (they're industry standard).

I think it's simply a case of more publicity = more applicants = more successful candidates at the current % success rate.
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 18:07
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Anyone had a place confirmed on NATS 251 basic in Jerez?
Congrats!!

Any ideas if the Jerez arrangement is a permanent thing for NATS? Is it a case of the odd course being delivered in Spain due to capacity in Southampton or more of a strategic decision to conduct training there?
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 19:03
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Originally Posted by ManUtd1999
Congrats!!

Any ideas if the Jerez arrangement is a permanent thing for NATS? Is it a case of the odd course being delivered in Spain due to capacity in Southampton or more of a strategic decision to conduct training there?
I'm not sure if there are any plans to make it a permanent arrangement. I guess they'll make a calculated decision after we've tested it out

I would imagine that there will be a lot more courses taking place away from Southampton for capacity reasons in the near future.
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 20:29
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Originally Posted by Daleboy93
Hi All,

Anyone had a place confirmed on NATS 251 basic in Jerez?

Had my contract through earlier, keen to see if any ppruners will be making the trip out to Spain with me.
Hi

Iíve been offered a place on this course. Iíll be joining you very soon. Exciting times :-)
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 21:21
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Originally Posted by ahmad221
Hi

Iíve been offered a place on this course. Iíll be joining you very soon. Exciting times :-)
I've got a place too! Looking forward to meeting you guys. Found this thread while scouring the internet for any more info on FTE I can find.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 14:18
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Originally Posted by ahmad221
Hi

Iíve been offered a place on this course. Iíll be joining you very soon. Exciting times :-)
Great stuff!

I've set up a facebook group if you wanna join Ahmad, same for you Turpin. Search 'NATS 251 Jerez' and it should pop up.

Would be good to chat with any other trainees before we all head out.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 14:48
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Early stages questions

Hi folks,

I've been lucky (and a bit surprised) to have passed 0 & 1 and now looking at booking my assessment day. I'd applied on a bit of a whim not really knowing what it was all about but the more I look it's seeming very exciting. I just am anxious over a few points I'm hoping someone may be able to help with:

I have a young family and am hoping to have another baby in the next few years, if this was to happen mid training has anyone seen allowances made for this?

We are in the south west, with brs and ext being my nearest airports. Is there much job opportunities here or am I likely to always commute?

The study training period, is this distance based or at a centre and if so where?

Anyone doing this with a young family? If so any advice welcome.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 20th Jan 2018, 12:51
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Originally Posted by Ambnapz
We are in the south west, with brs and ext being my nearest airports. Is there much job opportunities here or am I likely to always commute?
Expect to get posted to Aberdeen
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Old 20th Jan 2018, 18:37
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Exeter isn't a NATS airport, so you won't going there if you're applying through NATS. You can make a request for where you want to go, but the reality is that you'll be sent where the company needs you. If you end up as an Area controller, which is where most people go as there's more area controllers then you'll be in Swanwick or Prestwick. It could equally be Cardiff or Edinburgh though if you end up going down the Tower controller route

The initial training is supposed to be undertaken in Whiteley, Hampshire but they're now sending people to Spain for the initial training as well as there's not enough training capacity at Whiteley. Regarding commuting, it wouldn't be possible from Bristol, there's so much work in the first few months that you would really struggle.

I don't know what you do at the moment, but the starting salary isn't great and it can be three years or so before you start earning decent money which is something else to consider if you've got a family.
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Old 20th Jan 2018, 19:35
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Sadly wonít be Edinburgh either if youíre with NATS. Although Edinburgh are looking for trainees. Home
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Old 21st Jan 2018, 10:28
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I have a young family and am hoping to have another baby in the next few years, if this was to happen mid training has anyone seen allowances made for this?

We are in the south west, with brs and ext being my nearest airports. Is there much job opportunities here or am I likely to always commute?

The study training period, is this distance based or at a centre and if so where?
I'm in a similar position. Just passed Stage 3 and am looking at starting training in March, most likely in Gloucester, I'm told (residential training much like the earlier Jerez course). I've three young kids and a £1,400/month mortgage, so the 21 weeks of training on around £1k/month net are going to be very tough financially.

To manage the above, I'm going to have to do some existing consulting work on the side in parallel with the training, perhaps 8-10hrs a week. The very idea of this will be completely unfeasible to most. But I have to ensure (a) that I can feed my family during the transition, and (b) that I have a job to go back to if the training doesn't work out.

Once you're posted to a unit, you're on the regular shift pattern. This should mean regardless of where you're posted, you should be able to get home to Bristol for 3-4 days. I used to work in former CIS countries on rotation and wouldn't see my wife/kids for 6-8 weeks at a time, so six days is easy. In fact, I'd argue a more healthy balance than working from home as I do now.

Last time we moved it was £47k in costs (mostly stamp duty). I can't see myself uprooting the family. The UK is not big and it's not a daily commute (the worst type of commute).

Recipe for disaster? Who knows. I'm sure anything's possible if you are able to commit and think long term.

Hopefully I've reassured you that it's not all 25 year old footloose graduates with no costs!
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Old 21st Jan 2018, 21:32
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Interesting! As someone currently completing the APS course at NATS (following having done Basic and ADI) I would urge massive caution at the idea that you will have 8-10hours per week free for consultancy. I totally empathise with your situation thought.

To give you an idea, during the 9 week basic course we had a written exam every 4/5 working days... the first being Air Law at the end of week 1 (10 written exams, 5 practical exams and an oral board). Everybody on my course spent at least 2/3 hours a night working, having done 0830-1630 at the college, in addition to at least a day working at the weekend. The workload is, quite simply, relentless... but then that is what the public should expect in such a role.

It is a great feeling though when you pass the courses!
Good luck!
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 05:49
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@ Flying184

Thanks a lot for the above re training - extremely helpful. Difficult situations tend to be exaggerated (particularly by the prospective employer) so it's nice to hear real world accounts such as yours.

For the initial nine months of training I guess I will have to devote alternate Sundays to either (a) seeing the kids, or (b) working to feed the kids and keep the other job!

Any others going through training at the moment? Be interested to hear what your typical weekends are like.
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 07:17
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Originally Posted by Traffic is...
Sadly wonít be Edinburgh either if youíre with NATS. Although Edinburgh are looking for trainees. Home
Good point
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 15:34
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Originally Posted by Daleboy93
Great stuff!

I've set up a facebook group if you wanna join Ahmad, same for you Turpin. Search 'NATS 251 Jerez' and it should pop up.

Would be good to chat with any other trainees before we all head out.
Hi

Unfortunately Iím unable to find the group. Any suggestions?
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 16:27
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Originally Posted by Caspian1
@ Flying184

Thanks a lot for the above re training - extremely helpful. Difficult situations tend to be exaggerated (particularly by the prospective employer) so it's nice to hear real world accounts such as yours.

For the initial nine months of training I guess I will have to devote alternate Sundays to either (a) seeing the kids, or (b) working to feed the kids and keep the other job!

Any others going through training at the moment? Be interested to hear what your typical weekends are like.
Hi

I am currently going through basic training at NATS so if I may chip in a little bit.

As Flying184 has already said, the workload during training is pretty tough and I would also urge caution with your current plan to do consultancy work on the side. My basic course seems to be run differently from what Flying184 has described, but you would find it very difficult to have free time to do much else.

To give you an idea, after the 0800-1600 day at college I usually do an additional 3 hours study in the evening, and probably 4/5 hours at the weekend with one day off. You don't have continuous exams every week as mentioned before, but you do have a massive amount of theory to learn initially, with your first written exam (covering 4 of the topics) about 5 weeks into the course. You then have your other written exam about 2 weeks after this, with practical exams the week after that, so pretty relentless. There is no time to take your foot off the throttle and you really need to hit the ground running when it comes to learning the theory, let alone working on your practical technique.

You need to decided how much work you can realistically put into training, but I would suggest what you have described as your plan currently, if you want a good chance of passing the courses, may be very difficult to maintain without feeling burned out. Everyone is different though, but I can only advise from my experience.

Any other questions feel free to ask.
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 17:00
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Originally Posted by ahmad221
Hi

Unfortunately Iím unable to find the group. Any suggestions?
Try searching 'NATS 251', should come up. Failing that I'll PM you so you can add me then I can put you in
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 17:46
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Originally Posted by Kirsteneg
Hi

I am currently going through basic training at NATS so if I may chip in a little bit.

As Flying184 has already said, the workload during training is pretty tough and I would also urge caution with your current plan to do consultancy work on the side. My basic course seems to be run differently from what Flying184 has described, but you would find it very difficult to have free time to do much else.

To give you an idea, after the 0800-1600 day at college I usually do an additional 3 hours study in the evening, and probably 4/5 hours at the weekend with one day off. You don't have continuous exams every week as mentioned before, but you do have a massive amount of theory to learn initially, with your first written exam (covering 4 of the topics) about 5 weeks into the course. You then have your other written exam about 2 weeks after this, with practical exams the week after that, so pretty relentless. There is no time to take your foot off the throttle and you really need to hit the ground running when it comes to learning the theory, let alone working on your practical technique.

You need to decided how much work you can realistically put into training, but I would suggest what you have described as your plan currently, if you want a good chance of passing the courses, may be very difficult to maintain without feeling burned out. Everyone is different though, but I can only advise from my experience.

Any other questions feel free to ask.
Just to explain the discrepancies - I was sent to complete my NATS training at Global/Gloucestershire with 11 other students
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