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NATS training bond VS Airline Bond

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NATS training bond VS Airline Bond

Old 18th Dec 2013, 11:56
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NATS training bond VS Airline Bond

As a UK cadet pilot to gain a type rating over 20 Months and owe 100,000 (unpaid throughout). Typically repaid over seven years

As a NATS controller my understanding is that you are paid and are bonded for three years after your three year training course ends? Can someone please advise how much you are bonded for?
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Old 18th Dec 2013, 13:48
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No idea on figures but as far as I know you only have to pay NATS if you quit before the time period is up. If you are removed from training or validate and don't leave (why would you?) then again you don't owe anything. So it works differently to pilot training schemes.

I stand to be corrected by anybody with more accurate info though.
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Old 18th Dec 2013, 18:19
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I'm not sure on an actual figure but I believe it is somewhere in the region of 20k/40k
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Old 18th Dec 2013, 20:53
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Why is there a need to 'bond' employees to a company which, allegedly, is "A global leader in air traffic control and airport performance"?
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Old 18th Dec 2013, 21:07
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Because people were taking advantage of the system, as I'm sure you know Zooker. They'd sign the mobility agreement in full knowledge that they would only stay in NATS if they got unit X, complete the rating course, be sent to anywhere other than X, and so leave the company to work outside of NATS near to unit X, so presenting that unit with a 'free' trainee, who may have even approached validation at their original NATS unit to make themselves more employable.

NATS decided to take steps to prevent that happening. Can't blame them.
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Old 18th Dec 2013, 22:07
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The NATS bond is 2 fold.
On completion of your basic training (when you get your first student rating) at the college you are bonded for 3 years, the bond drops by 1000 per month, so is a maximum of 36k if you quit directly after your student course.

On validation the second part kicks in which is the same thing again, drops by 1k per month for 3 years, so three years after validation your bond is gone.

If your training is terminated at any point the bond does not apply. Also all the above is from memory so there may be errors!
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Old 18th Dec 2013, 22:28
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Because people were taking advantage of the system, as I'm sure you know Zooker. They'd sign the mobility agreement in full knowledge that they would only stay in NATS if they got unit X, complete the rating course, be sent to anywhere other than X, and so leave the company to work outside of NATS near to unit X, so presenting that unit with a 'free' trainee, who may have even approached validation at their original NATS unit to make themselves more employable.

NATS decided to take steps to prevent that happening. Can't blame them.
Its probably a fair point, but at the same time its a view that probably changes based on what unit people end up at. And its not just the unit people get posted to that causes the problem. Its the lack of opportunity (real or perceived) to progress once at their first posting.
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Old 18th Dec 2013, 23:10
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Zooker

I for one was happy to see bonding.

It was a complete PITA to have a trainee arrive...have the full attention of the OJT's and the rest of the team....getting them up to validation (with all the heart ache that that can attract) only for them to bugger off to a non state airfield as a proven entity.

Glad they are bonded...should have happened ages ago.
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 15:45
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I'm in the pro bonding camp also. I am bound under it. But have no issues with it. I applied to NATS. They accepted me, and gave me a posting.

They deserve some return on their investment.
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 17:22
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They deserve some return on their investment.
They already do. They make profits thanks to your skills. Healthy ones.
They don't employ you out of charity!!

If they had found a way to do without ATCOs or to pay us half of what they do, they would have already done so!

They say less than 2% of applicants go on to validate, yet they see you as a cost/liability rather than an asset.

Wake up and smell the Costa* Coffee

*Swanwick branch

Rant over. Merry Christmas
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 18:11
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LEGAL TENDER

Of course they don't employ us through charity. But they also aren't a charity or non profit organisation. It wouldn't be good business to keep losing your 'assets' to competitors. I'm sure you would agree.

We are all too aware of cost saving measures, to the detriment of our colleagues and our own terms and conditions. But if the likes of this bond were not in place, and the ATCOs were to continue walking out the door once they get their ticket. Would we not be in a worse place than we already are?

Granted it might cut down numbers and costs, but the majority of airports are running on bare bones as it is!

The bond keeps staff. Simples!
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 20:37
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There are several ANSPs that will either not pay your or even have you pay for your ATC training, I'd rather have a bond and a basic salary (even though it is very low) than have to pay for my training and not be bonded.
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 22:43
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Would there be anything to be gained by NSL recruiting for each airport individually, the same way non-NATS units do? That way the problem of junior ATCOs sat fuming at the opposite end of the country to where they want to be, ready to jump ship at the first opportunity, would be reduced. Not sure how recruitment for LTCC, LL and KK might fit in to that model, but is it worth considering?
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 06:17
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You would still need to coordinate the recruitment centrally so that you had enough trainees for a course.

I think the mobile grade serves as a test of your resolve to join Nats and become a controller. They dont seem to struggle for applicants and I dont see a problem in paying the company back for the investment they make in you. If after that period you leave then so be it, but at least the company has had some return on the initial investment.
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 16:08
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The company could have 40-odd years of return on its investment if people were happy where they were. As for the 'test of resolve', they're not applying to join a monastery.

I don't see any need for centrally coordinated recruitment, at least not for regional airports.

Unit identifies upcoming vacancy -> Unit recruits someone, perhaps one of the assistants at that unit -> Unit books that person onto the next available Basic & ADI course at CATC or Cwmbran.
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 16:16
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"One volunteer is worth ten pressed men"
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 19:50
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If your bond repayment is in your contract, and you don't repay it then its breach of contract and they would take you to court.

And they would win.
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Old 22nd Dec 2013, 13:43
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Bonding is a fair cop whenever training is provided gratis imho. The ANSP is paying for the trainee to learn certain skills, without a return on that outlay why would ANSP's bother?
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Old 23rd Dec 2013, 04:38
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If you broke the contract they could easily take you to court and win! You would probably land up paying paying the legal and collection fees on top of the training bond also.
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Old 24th Dec 2013, 14:09
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The bond keeps staff. Simples!
This spontaneous display of appreciation for the company is rather unusual. Almost as unusual as someone from NI getting posted to Aldergrove!!
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