Engineering placement

If you’re an undergraduate who is currently in your second year at university, this scheme provides a superb opportunity to gain first-hand experience of engineering and exposure to the industry.

It will also help you develop a well-rounded knowledge of air traffic control.


A superb opportunity to gain first-hand experience of engineering and exposure to the industry.

Roles and responsibilities

Our engineers work in roles from system architecture, design and software development through to project engineering, asset support and maintenance.

On this scheme, you’ll be assigned two separate six-month placements within our division and could find yourself managing projects or working as part of the team on some of the largest engineering challenges in the business.

As your experience increases, so will your responsibility. You can expect to be asked to meet deadlines and budgets, while gaining exposure to specification, design development and procurement, as well as the implementation, test and design of systems.

Training & development

This is an opportunity to learn some of the advanced engineering practices that make NATS a world leader. The skills you gain during your placement will provide the perfect base on which to build your future career.

As well as detailed departmental training in industry-specific topics, you can look forward to general training in areas such as Engineering Systems and Air Traffic Control Familiarisation. To ensure you benefit from a well-rounded experience, you’ll also get to visit various operational locations, including airports, radar sites and national control centres.

Formal classroom-based courses will be a key feature of the placement. To support you throughout, you’ll be assigned your own personal buddy and will benefit from regular mentoring from a senior figure within the company. We’ll also offer support to identify a final-year project at university.

But not everything is set in stone. We believe choice is important, so you’ll get the chance to shape the structure of the training scheme for yourself and future students through our graduate forum.

What type of work will you be doing?

You’ll be working alongside specialists in a range of fields, including:

  • Systems Engineers – responsible for designing, maintaining and upgrading many of our current and future assets, as well as overseeing quality and managing budgets.
  • Software Engineers – building new solutions and adapting our current products to a changing environment.
  • Test Engineers – involved in the rigorous testing of systems to ensure they’re completely safe before they become operational.
  • Integration Engineers – integrating products into complex operational facilities and connecting new systems to existing/legacy systems without loss of service.
  • Systems Safety Engineers – providing safety management and assurance to projects.

Locations and culture

Whether you’re working at our Corporate Centre in Whiteley, Hampshire or at one of our air traffic control centres, you’ll find there’s a supportive culture. We have a friendly, welcoming environment where teamwork and co-operation is encouraged. There is also the possibility that you’ll be able to travel internationally.

Who can apply?

You should be working towards a Bachelor’s degree at 2:1 level or Master’s degree in a relevant engineering or technical discipline. Along with your strong technical knowledge, problem-solving skills and analytical ability, you should be an outstanding communicator and natural leader. It goes without saying that you’ll have an interest in engineering outside your studies.

Our medical branch will test you for your general health. You will also be security cleared.

How to apply

Although applications for the scheme open in October and close in early January, we encourage you to apply as early as possible, as places are limited.

We’ll select you for the next stage on the basis of your initial online application, so please do take the time to sell yourself and answer all the questions to the best of your ability. If you’re successful, we’ll invite you to an assessment centre in February.

Structure of assessment centre

You’ll attend a welcome meeting with our graduate coordinator, graduates and placement students, so there’ll be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and get the inside track on what it’s like to work here.

The rest of the day consists of a group exercise to assess your team-working skills, a competency and knowledge-based interview, along with a presentation to senior managers.

If you’re successful, you’ll receive your offer by early March before starting in August.




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