ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Questions for Air Traffic Navigation Services.

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csete
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ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by csete » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:49 pm

Hi everyone

I'm a 27 y.o. SAfrican who's been living in the UK since 2005. Have always been an ATC freak, I used to fall asleep listening to my scanner tuned into 124.5 + 126.7 hearing all the Europe-bound flights out of FAJS every night in my late-teens. I knew that airspace almost like the back of my hand... :lol: But, thanks to a bit of paternal frowning, I veered left and came to the UK to study to pursue a business career. But, times have changed and I am in control now, so I've quit my office job (I was a Business Analyst - read: lots of maths, statistics), taking a breather and have thought about going home (SA) and pursuing my real passion...yes, that is giving you guys 03L whenever you ask for it. :D

So...in September last year (2011) I applied for the ATC Bursary via the ATNS website and requested for a June-2012 intake. According to the website, the requirements are:

* Minimum age of 18
* Grade 12 with Maths and English (HG D or SG C or level 4 upwards)
* South African Citizen
* Medically fit

What I have vs what they ask for:

* 27 years old (Minimum age of 18)
* BSc (Hons) in Business Studies from a top UK university, ABB grades at A-level in highly mathematical subjects, Senior Certificate with Endorsement (and the only 'D' I got was for Afrikaans 2nd language lol) (Grade 12 with Maths and English (HG D or SG C or level 4 upwards))
* SA citizen by birth (South African Citizen)
* Excellent/Athletic fitness level (Medically fit)

....in other words, I have far better than what they ask for.

Now, I do not mean to sound big-headed but I did expect to, at least, receive an invitation for an interview/assessment...but nothing! Since September, the online application status remains "Application Received" with my only option being to withdraw. On the website, though, it says that if you do not hear back within 60 days you can assume you were unsuccessful. And I'm happy to accept that...assuming all the applicants have better qualifications than I do. But I find that hard to believe.

I tried to contact ATNS HR via the following e-mail recruitment@atns.co.za on two occasions (February 2012 and March 2012) and have still not received a reply. I thought SA had an ATC shortage?! And this is how HR approaches the matter?! At least a response to say: we are still reviewing your application. I'd be totally happy with that. But if this is how SA is trying to combat/reverse brain-drain...

I have read on other threads that there seems to be a shift into Equality and AA and whatever. What puzzles me is that Air Traffic Control is about safety of several thousands of lives in 1 shift (!!) and, if anything, this should be one profession that Quality of candidates (irrespective of ANY background) should come before Equality of candidates.

Let me not even get to what my pilot friends have been saying too...

It would be good to hear your views. :)

Thanks!
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by Director » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:57 pm

Great that you have such a passion for the job!

Remember there are a lot of things to consider during an application. Meeting the minimum requirements doesn't mean your application will be successful.
The selection process has changed recently (beginning of this year), and people are not accepted into the system based on their background anymore. So being a white male will technically not count against you if you know what I mean...

But as I said, there a so many other things which they also consider... So don't expect ATNS to come back to you. If they didn't come back to you within 60 days I'm afraid you were not successful. And that's not because other people have better qualifications than you have, I can guarantee you that!

I would say, try again this year (one year after your first application), and see what happens. Who knows, maybe the new selection process wasn't in place yet when you applied...
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by csete » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:43 am

Thanks Director... it can be disheartening though. :( But it was my first attempt, so I guess I'll just try again later this year. Just worried about the big 3-0 which is slowly creeping upon me. I've also considered applying to NATS (UK) or FTE Jerez in Spain and land up at Heath-Wick or Barajas, but the dream was always to be at FAJS. Gotta love that place. :)
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by Aspiring Mango » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:51 am

Its no good sitting around and waiting for ATNS HR dept to reply to you. If you have dealt with them you will know why! You need to do the agitation and get things moving.

Suggest you phone the manager at FAJS and try and see him and see what he can do for you, or at least one of his asst managers! You got to let them know you are keen - maybe even think about going to a smaller place, getting in there and then moving across to FAJS. Try Lanseria (busiest airport in Africa at the moment) or Wonderboom
csete
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by csete » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:59 am

Thank you :) I completely agree. I just wanted to go through the formalities first (if you know what I mean), because I will be escalating the matter until I get a reply. :)
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by pdarne » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:41 pm

NO the ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process is NOT FAIR...I put it to you that you are too FAIR!
You said WHAT Mr. President!!!!That 35 inch prick, he's your youth leader!
csete
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by csete » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:49 pm

hmmm...you have stories pdarne?
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by Atc_pilot » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:22 am

Here's how the ATC Bursary works:

First you go on a 3 month theory course (core content) then you go on exposure (most likely to FAJS) to see what the ATSO's (Air Traffic Service Operators) do there. After that you will go on ATSO course, and after about 6 months since you started with ATNS, you will be a qualified ATSO, and posted to any station in the country to work there as an ATSO for 18 months. Thereafter you will be afforded the opportunity to go on Aerodrome (Tower) course for about 4 - 6 months. After the successful completion, you will once again be sent to any station in South Africa where they operate with ATCO1's, and the minimam requirement is college graduation. (These stations include: Virginia, Rand, Pilanesburg, Mafikeng etc) Lanseria and Wonderboom are APP Procedural (ATCO 2) stations, and if you get sent there as an ATCO 1, you will only work ground until you are APP Procedural qualified. After validating at your new station, you can expect to wait 8 months to a year before relocation or further training.

So as you can see, working JS is not going to come for quite some time.

If, however, you are interested in fast tracking to Area Control, you need to consider the ATSO bursary. Once you are a qualified ATSO you can then go on Info course after a few months/years, after which you will be afforder the opportunity to go on Area course.
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by csete » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:23 am

Very interesting. Thank you sir. Although I did expect that kind of upward progression. Although, getting asked for an assessment is what I find most onerous.
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by SuperD » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:38 pm

Try your luck at NATS. ATNS likes taking ATC's who they don't have to train themselves. I've read terrible things of ATC's in Spain suffering a bit. Don't think thats a good option anymore...

Keep trying!!
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by ATC101 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:54 pm

You will still have to pass the ATNS material/procedures before you are able to work an ATNS position, if you do your training somewhere else.
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by HollyWood » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:23 pm

Good luck csete, this is my 5th year applying @ ATNS. Have sent countliss emails aswell, and all i get is an automated responce, thanks for visiting, we'll get back to you shortly. I work in the film industry, but like you, being an ATC is all i can think of. Off days are spent at an airport, and i allways have my airband on set.
I'm filming in Cape Town at the moment, but i'm gonna try and go to their offices to talk with them in person when i get back to JHB.

Looking at 43 airschool but A) Its alot of money and B) where do i work when i'm done? I must say, the guys @ 43 does email back though, and has answerd alot of my questions.
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by csete » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:04 am

very interesting... i didn't know you could study ATC separately in SA. have any of their ATC students been posted at FAJS, FACT, FADN?
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by ATC101 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:29 am

No
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Re: ATNS ATC Bursary Selection Process - is it fair?

Unread post by HollyWood » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:16 pm

As far as i can tell its really hard to get a job at a ATNS run airport if you did the course through 43 airschool. Most guys do the course and then go to a country without afermative action, or bee
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