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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 13th Feb 2019, 19:43
  #11001 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Fife
Posts: 2
I was in the same boat regarding booking stage 2. I checked the dates and there were only 2 available before the end of March. I've booked one and, worst case scenario, I can start the process again in April if I fail. I would check quick though because there seems to be hardly any availability.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 21:12
  #11002 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 8
I'm currently part way through the application process for Trainee ATCO, but I'm a bit confused about how salary progression would work. If I am successful, I will have to take a fairly significant pay cut for a few years it seems, so I'm trying to work out the ins and out and calculate if I can afford it. As far as I can tell it goes something like this:

College phase 17,000 + 60/week accommodation + 1,000
On the job training 19,423 to 23,307 (depending on location)
Post-validation 37,014 to 41,253 (depending on location)
On third anniversary of joining 52,878 to 58,933 plus shift pay of around 6,500

Now for my questions:
1) How long is the college phase? The NATS infographic suggests 1 year, but elsewhere I've read about 3 months basic + 3.5 months specialism + breaks (so around 7-8 months)?
2) Does everyone get the 60/week for accommodation or does it depend on you renting somewhere?
3) Who qualifies for the 1000 extra? (When you're on 17k, every little helps! But the NATS website suggests not everyone qualifies for this additional sum, without giving more details).
4) Is the 3rd anniversary of joining counted from Day 1 of the college phase?
5) If the answer to my question (4) is "yes", and college + on-the-job training can together take 2.5 to 3 years, then doesn't that mean you aren't on the 37-41k band for very long at all?
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 21:16
  #11003 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by Whispering87 View Post
Good news though, the process is changing from April with stages 1 and 2 being online before proceeding to stage 3 interview and anyone who has recently failed can re-apply from April, no need to wait a year!
Is this definitely the case? I also received an email about the change in process, and contemplated delaying until April. However, if it's true that anyone who has recently failed can re-apply, and if the new process will involve FEAST and DART too, then surely it makes perfect sense to proceed with my application and see how far I get. At the very least it will serve as practice!
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 23:08
  #11004 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Scotland
Posts: 24
Originally Posted by ajborthwick View Post
Hi all,

I have been waiting to book my stage 2 the last few weeks and I have just got the email regarding the new process. Im unsure what to do... quickly book up to do my stage 2 in March or wait and just apply through new process again. Anyone any insight/opinions?
Logically I would be looking to book Stage 2 asap and before the deadline. In doing so you're effectively being given a free shot or at the very least a very competitive advantage not afforded to others who would have to go 12 months between applications and test experience. I would personally be looking to put the necessary work in to make good my current shot but in the knowledge that if I fail at this stage I can re-apply under the new process rather quickly.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 05:42
  #11005 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Down South
Posts: 285
Originally Posted by tf412 View Post
I'm currently part way through the application process for Trainee ATCO, but I'm a bit confused about how salary progression would work. If I am successful, I will have to take a fairly significant pay cut for a few years it seems, so I'm trying to work out the ins and out and calculate if I can afford it. As far as I can tell it goes something like this:

College phase – 17,000 + 60/week accommodation + 1,000
On the job training – 19,423 to 23,307 (depending on location)
Post-validation – 37,014 to 41,253 (depending on location)
On third anniversary of joining – 52,878 to 58,933 plus shift pay of around 6,500

Now for my questions:
1) How long is the college phase? The NATS infographic suggests 1 year, but elsewhere I've read about 3 months basic + 3.5 months specialism + breaks (so around 7-8 months)?
2) Does everyone get the 60/week for accommodation or does it depend on you renting somewhere?
3) Who qualifies for the 1000 extra? (When you're on 17k, every little helps! But the NATS website suggests not everyone qualifies for this additional sum, without giving more details).
4) Is the 3rd anniversary of joining counted from Day 1 of the college phase?
5) If the answer to my question (4) is "yes", and college + on-the-job training can together take 2.5 to 3 years, then doesn't that mean you aren't on the 37-41k band for very long at all?
1. It depends. The tower course is around 6 months total if I remember rightly and the area course is now 9 months. This assumes you fail nothing and all your courses run consecutively. There's a chance you might have to wait for at the course ahead to finish something before you can move on to that stage which will only add to your time at the college,

4. Yes

5. It depends - if you end up somewhere quieter then you can be valid a lot quicker than 3 years and then as a result you're doing the same job as someone else at the unit with the same responsibilities as them for half the money. At Swanwick you're probably looking at nearly three years because it's a lot more complex and you need additional conversion training after the college to be able to use the kit. Count on 6 months at least after college before you get to any live training at Swanwick. After your three year anniversary the pay goes up nicely though.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 08:31
  #11006 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 17
Originally Posted by tf412 View Post
I'm currently part way through the application process for Trainee ATCO, but I'm a bit confused about how salary progression would work. If I am successful, I will have to take a fairly significant pay cut for a few years it seems, so I'm trying to work out the ins and out and calculate if I can afford it. As far as I can tell it goes something like this:

College phase 17,000 + 60/week accommodation + 1,000
On the job training 19,423 to 23,307 (depending on location)
Post-validation 37,014 to 41,253 (depending on location)
On third anniversary of joining 52,878 to 58,933 plus shift pay of around 6,500

Now for my questions:
1) How long is the college phase? The NATS infographic suggests 1 year, but elsewhere I've read about 3 months basic + 3.5 months specialism + breaks (so around 7-8 months)?
2) Does everyone get the 60/week for accommodation or does it depend on you renting somewhere?
3) Who qualifies for the 1000 extra? (When you're on 17k, every little helps! But the NATS website suggests not everyone qualifies for this additional sum, without giving more details).
4) Is the 3rd anniversary of joining counted from Day 1 of the college phase?
5) If the answer to my question (4) is "yes", and college + on-the-job training can together take 2.5 to 3 years, then doesn't that mean you aren't on the 37-41k band for very long at all?
2) as far as Im aware, everyone gets the 60 a week

3) Everyone gets the 1000 when they validate, again as far as Im aware
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 08:50
  #11007 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 34
Originally Posted by HannahWrigley View Post


2) as far as Im aware, everyone gets the 60 a week

3) Everyone gets the 1000 when they validate, again as far as Im aware
​​​​​​
I did read somewhere that the Jerez lot don't get the 60 as it's in lieu of having your accommodation and food paid for in Spain. But I don't know for sure.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 11:15
  #11008 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by The Many Tentacles View Post
4. Yes

5. It depends - if you end up somewhere quieter then you can be valid a lot quicker than 3 years and then as a result you're doing the same job as someone else at the unit with the same responsibilities as them for half the money. At Swanwick you're probably looking at nearly three years because it's a lot more complex and you need additional conversion training after the college to be able to use the kit. Count on 6 months at least after college before you get to any live training at Swanwick. After your three year anniversary the pay goes up nicely though.
Thanks for clarifying things - that's really useful to know. I had previously wondered if the jump up to the 52k+ bracket was on the 3rd anniversary of validating, which could have been up to 6 years from joining I guess, so it's very helpful to know that isn't the case.

So, it seems the intermediary jump up to 37k is simply to recognise those who manage to validate before the 3rd anniversary (although as you said this effectively means being paid half as much as someone with the same responsibilities, but such is life). However, if I understood things correctly, most people (i.e. where validation occurs close to the 3rd anniversary) aren't on the 37k+ bracket for very long at all.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 11:19
  #11009 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by HannahWrigley View Post
2) as far as Im aware, everyone gets the 60 a week

3) Everyone gets the 1000 when they validate, again as far as Im aware
So, even if living with relatives nearby, for example, you could still get the 60 a week?

I have wondered why they don't just add this figure to the basic salary during training, but I suspect it's because if it's treated as an expense it can be tax-free, which in turn benefits trainees. It seems this figure hasn't gone up for quite a number of years though.

Originally Posted by Lemonair View Post
​​​​​​
I did read somewhere that the Jerez lot don't get the 60 as it's in lieu of having your accommodation and food paid for in Spain. But I don't know for sure.
Yep, makes sense.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 11:21
  #11010 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by HannahWrigley View Post
3) Everyone gets the 1000 when they validate, again as far as Im aware
So, this means there is up to a 3-year delay until you are paid this? Which I guess means, when working out whether I could afford to take the financial hit (assuming I get through), I shouldn't take this figure into account.

How do other trainees manage financially in the first 2-3 years, particularly those with a mortgage and kids?
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 12:01
  #11011 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: London
Posts: 1
How are people coming to the conclusion that you can reapply in April if you fail? From what I understood from the email, only if you fail to complete the stages by the deadline or if you voluntarily withdraw can you reapply in April.

Also I'm guessing after April they're going to remove the booklet multiple choice test since it's not really possible to test someone that way at home. Perhaps replace it with something else?

Last edited by DoStuffAndStuff; 14th Feb 2019 at 15:51.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 12:35
  #11012 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 34
Originally Posted by tf412 View Post
So, this means there is up to a 3-year delay until you are paid this? Which I guess means, when working out whether I could afford to take the financial hit (assuming I get through), I shouldn't take this figure into account.

How do other trainees manage financially in the first 2-3 years, particularly those with a mortgage and kids?
No kids or a mortgage for me yet but I will be continuing to pay my half of a two bed flat in central Reading so my other half isn't forced to move out and into a house share because of my career decisions.

One of the things that attracted me to Jerez was that the living costs are more favourable (i.e fairly close to zero as food and accomodation is covered) and I believe from a tax perspective it's more like 20% total Spanish tax than about 33% in the UK by the time you factor in NI. Obviously got to factor in personal allowance and things like that. It depends if you can bear to be away from home for that long though I suppose. I believe flights are also included as well as a weekend allowance too. And once I'm back in the UK it will basically be a break even/eat into savings situation paying for two lots of rent at once until I find out where I'm being posted.

I do know they strongly discourage you from taking on a second job for example.

Last edited by Lemonair; 14th Feb 2019 at 12:55.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 12:43
  #11013 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 17
I think on 17k you could manage it. It would be like 1200 a month excluding the 60 a week. You'll be so busy with college you won't have to worry too much about funding like leisure type stuff, so most of what you earn could go to bills/rent/mortgage/food and 1200 a month should be plenty for that. I get less than that now and pay for rent/food/bills in the South already and have money to spare so as long as you watch what you spend you'll be fine.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 22:18
  #11014 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by HannahWrigley View Post
I think on 17k you could manage it. It would be like 1200 a month excluding the 60 a week. You'll be so busy with college you won't have to worry too much about funding like leisure type stuff, so most of what you earn could go to bills/rent/mortgage/food and 1200 a month should be plenty for that. I get less than that now and pay for rent/food/bills in the South already and have money to spare so as long as you watch what you spend you'll be fine.
I've no doubt I could manage on that amount if I was single, even if it required me to make some sacrifices. Problem is, a 950 mortgage payment and ensuring two little kids have food on the table sadly don't fall into the "leisure" category...

Originally Posted by DoStuffAndStuff View Post
How are people coming to the conclusion that you can reapply in April if you fail? From what I understood from the email, only if you fail to complete the stages by the deadline or if you voluntarily withdraw can you reapply in April.
I had exactly the same thought earlier today, as that's exactly how the email came across to me too. But then I called NATS to discuss something else and was told that reapplication *will* be possible in April with no need to wait 12 months if you happen to fail at any of the earlier stages. So, it sounds to me that they are making more substantial changes to the selection process than just the way it is delivered, and perhaps someone who doesn't perform that well on one of the current tests might perform differently on one of the new ones. Pure speculation, of course, but that's how it came across.
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 08:04
  #11015 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by DoStuffAndStuff View Post
How are people coming to the conclusion that you can reapply in April if you fail? From what I understood from the email, only if you fail to complete the stages by the deadline or if you voluntarily withdraw can you reapply in April.

Also I'm guessing after April they're going to remove the booklet multiple choice test since it's not really possible to test someone that way at home. Perhaps replace it with something else?
I'm only going from what we were told at Stage 2 on Monday. If we failed then you can re-apply from April 1st. There was no mention on the actual process changing other than initial stages are now all online, with latter interviews taking place at centres around the country. We were also told that if we passed stage 2 then we'd need to book onto stage 3 before April, otherwise our application would expire and would have to start again come April 1st. Whether that would be the case if you took stage 2 in March, I don't know.

Referring back to the earlier post on whether to take stage 2 before April 1st, I would say take the opportunity for sure. The environment you do it in is great, it gives you a chance to see what's required (assuming the stage 2 stays the same and you don't pass first time) and if like me, only have a small laptop, i'm not sure I would want to be trying to do stage 2 and DART in particular, on that, at home.
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 19:42
  #11016 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 2,011
Lemonair,

Hopefully I have missed something in this sequence of posts, but forget taking on a second job during your ATCO training course.

It demands 150% commitment.
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 19:58
  #11017 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 34
Originally Posted by ZOOKER View Post
Lemonair,

Hopefully I have missed something in this sequence of posts, but forget taking on a second job during your ATCO training course.

It demands 150% commitment.
It stemmed from a discussion of how to cope financially if you have a family, I was giving advice not to take a second job
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Old 16th Feb 2019, 13:14
  #11018 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 1
Hi everyone! Just booked my stage 2 and now I'm battling through the booklet.
Can anyone advise on the below?

"1. Boeing 737-300/400/500 series.
2. Seating 300 series, 128 standard,
400 series standard with a maximum 171 seats."

This doesn't give a number of seats for the 500, do I just take it to be 128? I've looked online for the number of seats for the 500 but can't find it anywhere. It's a small issue but I really don't want to get caught out on the test.
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Old 16th Feb 2019, 14:37
  #11019 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Devon
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by gemma96 View Post
Hi everyone! Just booked my stage 2 and now I'm battling through the booklet.
Can anyone advise on the below?

"1. Boeing 737-300/400/500 series.
2. Seating 300 series, 128 standard,
400 series standard with a maximum 171 seats."

This doesn't give a number of seats for the 500, do I just take it to be 128? I've looked online for the number of seats for the 500 but can't find it anywhere. It's a small issue but I really don't want to get caught out on the test.
Don't worry about that. Just learn what's in the booklet. That detail won't matter, trust me.
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Old 17th Feb 2019, 19:35
  #11020 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 17
Moose19 if you send me your mobile number in a private message Ill add you to our WhatsApp group. Tried replying to your message but your inbox is full
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