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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 22nd Jan 2022, 08:57
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Here we are in early '22 - I hear that some courses are starting up in March/April for those who were already at the college when covid hit. Does anyone know what the general plan for the rest of the year looks like?
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 10:45
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Just wondering if anyone has managed to successfully reach through to NATS at all. My last contact with them was September 2020 saying that TATC recruitment was paused. I have sent emails in June, September and October 2021, each time receiving an automated response but no actual response. I have also tried leaving answer messages to no avail. My only successful interaction has been through Instagram messaging saying they will chase up with recruitment and careers but still nothing over a 6 month period with four messages, now my messages are being ignored. I understand the terrible situation the industry is in but I would expect to at least hear something back over this period of time. Any info is appreciated.
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Old 19th Mar 2022, 09:51
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Originally Posted by Flight25
Just wondering if anyone has managed to successfully reach through to NATS at all. My last contact with them was September 2020 saying that TATC recruitment was paused. I have sent emails in June, September and October 2021, each time receiving an automated response but no actual response. I have also tried leaving answer messages to no avail. My only successful interaction has been through Instagram messaging saying they will chase up with recruitment and careers but still nothing over a 6 month period with four messages, now my messages are being ignored. I understand the terrible situation the industry is in but I would expect to at least hear something back over this period of time. Any info is appreciated.
Even in 'normal' times, this is how bad Nats are at communication. I had nightmare before joining the college dealing with HR and recruitment. That was 10 years ago, and it hasn't improved. Doubt it ever will!
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Old 24th Mar 2022, 18:34
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HR issues aside, are there any updates re potential ATCO recruitment? Airlines are back at 80%+ of capacity this summer, so surely there will be a need for NATS to start thinking about training again soon......

Here we are in early '22 - I hear that some courses are starting up in March/April for those who were already at the college when covid hit. Does anyone know what the general plan for the rest of the year looks like?
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Old 26th Mar 2022, 12:55
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Originally Posted by ManUtd1999
HR issues aside, are there any updates re potential ATCO recruitment? Airlines are back at 80%+ of capacity this summer, so surely there will be a need for NATS to start thinking about training again soon......
​​​​​​As far as I'm aware, the training has already resumed for those that were in training when it shut down. For everyone else, it'll be an early 2023 start.
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Old 26th Mar 2022, 18:18
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Positive news

If courses are to start in early 23, perhaps recruitment could open in summer or autumn?
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 20:54
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Update

Has anyone heard anything about the restarting of trainee ATCOís? Be it resumption of training at the collegeís or recruitment of new trainee ATCOís.

Thanks in advance

Niall
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Old 16th May 2022, 12:09
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Originally Posted by NiallC98
Has anyone heard anything about the restarting of trainee ATCOís? Be it resumption of training at the collegeís or recruitment of new trainee ATCOís.

Thanks in advance

Niall
Hi Niall,

I'm one of the trainees that was due to begin training in April 2020, and subsequently had the offer withdrawn. We received an email back around March asking if we'd still be interested, as they're seeing sustained recovery. I suspect it'd be early 2023 at this stage. Some of the trainees who were already at the college pre-pandemic are back already.

I'd be keen to know more if anyone does know anything!
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Old 23rd May 2022, 02:45
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I'm considering applying to become a trainee ATC, and have the option of doing it in Australia or the UK. I'd prefer the UK, but can anyone explain the £18,000 training salary? As an adult, I don't understand how I'd be able to live on that, and accomodation doesn't seem to be provided.

In Australia initial trainees seem to start on around £29,000 and then go up to £43,000 for field training.
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Old 26th May 2022, 07:32
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Originally Posted by rust_bucket
What is there to explain. Thatís the salary offered while youíre training. If youíre after the money, and are able to live and work in Australia, then go there. Bear in mind there is a long list of people waiting to return to NATS who are happy and have been able to make their finances work in the short term for a suitable salary when qualified.

If you think being paid £18k with a guaranteed job offer at the end of training is bad, take a look at becoming a pilot.
Well said. I made it work well into my 30ís and am glad I did. In the UK you can get payment per week to help towards your housing costs. I canít remember the amount sorry and it wasnít much but certainly helps.
Sounds to me though this guy perhaps should stick to working in Australia!
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Old 10th Jun 2022, 10:07
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I canít believe Iím reading the posts above justifying such appalling trining pay.

If NATS only wants trainees with the support of bank-of-mum-and-dad then go ahead and take the Mickey - why not charge people for the privilege of training for a chance to become an ATCO? If we want the best, most motivated and qualified trainees in a world where we compete to attract them away from well paying careers we surely have to try harder. It is shameful that NATS actively filters out those trainees who can not afford to survive on the crumbs being offered and leaves us all poorer. I have seen good trainees resigning when they could no longer survive on the money available and Iím willing to bet some failed training outcomes have been as a direct result of trainees being unable to adequately feed and house themselves.

Talk conditions down to the bottom if you like, but like with pilots you will not get fairness or high-calibre this way.

Stockholm syndrome?
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Old 10th Jun 2022, 16:53
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Originally Posted by notebook1
I'm considering applying to become a trainee ATC, and have the option of doing it in Australia or the UK. I'd prefer the UK, but can anyone explain the £18,000 training salary? As an adult, I don't understand how I'd be able to live on that, and accomodation doesn't seem to be provided.

In Australia initial trainees seem to start on around £29,000 and then go up to £43,000 for field training.
I've lost track of what the college pays these days but I believe at Swanwick trainees are paid just shy of £30k pa whilst going through unit training. Which is higher than the national average wage if I'm not mistaken. So you're only on the college wage for a year or so.

It went up a couple of years ago when trainees started to be paid 2/3rds of unit shift pay in addition to they're basic salary (pro-rated as they don't work nights).

I assume this was NATS wide (adjusted for unit banding) and not just at Swanwick.
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Old 10th Jun 2022, 22:11
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Also can't believe the comments regarding pay.

I can't even begin to guess what rust buckets problem is. And runway, by training at Global your experience during training, is likely to have been very different from the majority of other NATS trainees. In fact, you really need to count yourself lucky that you avoided CTC and the potential to hold for well over a year (even pre-covid). So to state that this guy should stick to Australia is downright ignorant at best. The huge majority of TATC's, SATC's and anyone considering the career will rightfully be concerned about the salary. Particularly with the rate that living costs are rising.

"Bear in mind there is a long list of people waiting to return to NATS who are happy and have been able to make their finances work in the short term for a suitable salary when qualified." - I'd bet that the returning trainees are definitely not "happy" with the salary. They will be happy to be returning but managing their finances definitely will not be a "short term" thing. The reality is that they will very likely hold, some for a considerable time. At this point they will not progress in salary past the SATC points (circa 25k p/a). Realistically it could be 2+ years before they reach that suitable salary. That's a long time to manage finances, particularly for those who have taken huge pay cuts, have kids, mortgages, credit card debts etc etc. Its a long list and everyone will have something that they need money for.

Dan Dare really hit the nail on the head. Trainees are hindered by the salary. It adds unnecessary stress to an already stressful period of time. The last thing you want to be thinking about the night before a sim summative is how you're going to pay this month's gas bill.

Let's break down some figures here.

Income whilst at CTC: £18k + £60 per week. Round this to £1300 per month salary and add £240 per month for the accommodation figure = £1560 per month.

Lets take some rough figures for expenses.
Accommodation in a house share = £600-800
Unless you are lucky, with so many trainees all looking for somewhere to stay, it's going to be difficult to get accommodation within walking distance to CTC so then you have transport costs.
Car insurance = £50-100
Fuel = £100-200
Food costs = £150-250
Phone bill = £20-100
Credit card/student loan/overdraft = £50-300

Realistically you could be looking at anywhere in the region of £970-1750 of outgoings a month. Now just imagine you have a mortgage back home in Belfast or Manchester or wherever else.. childcare costs.. car payments. And lets not go down the route of "oH bUT TheY cAN EAt LeSs Or WaLk EVeRyWhERe". These guys and girls are giving up years of their lives to train and validate. They put up with constant displays of complete and utter contempt from the upper echelons of management. Surely they deserve a salary that they can at least live on?

As stated above, the salary does go up a bit at unit. You'll be looking at £31k at the top bands after shift pay is included. That's currently as good as it gets for the 1-3 years it takes to get on-the-job training started and validate.

Rant over.. to summarise.. wind your neck in
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 00:31
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In NZ you pay more than $20k for the privilege of training and you get less than $200 a week during OJT on unit (nothing at the college).
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Old 12th Jun 2022, 05:01
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And whatís the alternative like thenÖ? Exactly self fund or the sponsorship route.
Both were out of the question for me. I wanted to become an ATCO and the only viable way for me was through NATS. Iím not saying it was easy and money wasnít tight and paying double rent effectively meant I had to work part time at weekends and bank holidays to get it, but it was something I wanted!! A career thatís well paid and stable with no major entry qualificationsÖcertainly beats my old job where I could earn £30-35k for 5 days a week of 12 hours work a day. Possibly getting upto £50k if I was going to do 6 days and work myself into the ground. No thanks!
Plenty have been through the colleges and made it work and I doubt many have regretted it.
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Old 12th Jun 2022, 15:05
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UK wise Iím looking at potentially looking at a career in ATC. I currently work as a signaller on the railway

Iíve seen some of my colleagues come from the other way but not heard of a signaller becoming an ATC. Does anyone have any colleagues or know anyone who has done this?
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Old 13th Jun 2022, 13:11
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Thatís the point thatís being made though.. you shouldnít have had to seek other employment just to get by. The salary should be enough but the majority need to make huge sacrifices. Many take a salary cut and knowing that they can be posted anywhere, like yourself, end up with double accommodation payments. NATS know this fine well but still pay the minimum they can get away with.

Now if the timescales quoted during recruitment were accurate then thatís not so bad but we were seeing more and more trainees needing hold for months between basic + acs or adi + aps. This is through no fault of their own but throws any budget calculations right up in the air. You can only hope that NATS will take a more logical approach with training post covid rather than just cram in as many courses as possible.

Granted the salary is just for training but itís training to become an ATCO, not a burger builder at McDonalds. Admittedly covid has muddied the waters a bit financially but this has been an issue long before that. It wasnít long ago the salary was 12k and itís not like the company could plead poverty.

Letís use 140 TATCs as an example given we know thatís roughly how many there were when the pandemic hit. To double their salary would cost the company in the region of £2.4million. Then thereís pension and NI contributions too so say £3mil per year. In the 18/19 and 19/20 financial years the company paid out a total of £118million in dividends to shareholders.

Trying to justify a poor training salary as being acceptable just because the alternative is worse doesnít float either. Attempted murder isnít acceptable just because the alternative could have been murder.

Youíre right, not many will have regretted it but Iím sure many will have had doubts mid way though when the purse strings need to tighten. Iím even more sure that a huge number of potentially top class controllers will have decided against applying purely because of the salary which given the amount of talent NATS is going to lose in the next few years is really quite disappointing.
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Old 14th Jun 2022, 12:02
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Originally Posted by essexFC
UK wise Iím looking at potentially looking at a career in ATC. I currently work as a signaller on the railway

Iíve seen some of my colleagues come from the other way but not heard of a signaller becoming an ATC. Does anyone have any colleagues or know anyone who has done this?
I worked with an ex railway guy back in the early eighties, not heard of anyone since.
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Old 14th Jun 2022, 12:22
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Originally Posted by sayitasitis
Thatís the point thatís being made though.. you shouldnít have had to seek other employment just to get by. The salary should be enough but the majority need to make huge sacrifices. Many take a salary cut and knowing that they can be posted anywhere, like yourself, end up with double accommodation payments. NATS know this fine well but still pay the minimum they can get away with.

Now if the timescales quoted during recruitment were accurate then thatís not so bad but we were seeing more and more trainees needing hold for months between basic + acs or adi + aps. This is through no fault of their own but throws any budget calculations right up in the air. You can only hope that NATS will take a more logical approach with training post covid rather than just cram in as many courses as possible.

Granted the salary is just for training but itís training to become an ATCO, not a burger builder at McDonalds. Admittedly covid has muddied the waters a bit financially but this has been an issue long before that. It wasnít long ago the salary was 12k and itís not like the company could plead poverty.

Letís use 140 TATCs as an example given we know thatís roughly how many there were when the pandemic hit. To double their salary would cost the company in the region of £2.4million. Then thereís pension and NI contributions too so say £3mil per year. In the 18/19 and 19/20 financial years the company paid out a total of £118million in dividends to shareholders.

Trying to justify a poor training salary as being acceptable just because the alternative is worse doesnít float either. Attempted murder isnít acceptable just because the alternative could have been murder.

Youíre right, not many will have regretted it but Iím sure many will have had doubts mid way though when the purse strings need to tighten. Iím even more sure that a huge number of potentially top class controllers will have decided against applying purely because of the salary which given the amount of talent NATS is going to lose in the next few years is really quite disappointing.
Very well explained: just to add, if Covid taught us anything, it's that the promise of a job at the end of training is not what it seems. In the good times, yes, but there's no guarantees, whatever the contract says.
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Old 14th Jun 2022, 15:27
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Whilst this thread has gained a bit of activity in recent days/weeks... has anyone got any further insight as to where NATS are with re-inviting courses back to CTC? I believe one Cohort went back in February time, however have there been any more cohorts following ?

Thanks
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