Hays Travel has announced a further 1500 new jobs and apprenticeships. The Northern Ireland roles, which are available now, include 5 Foreign Exchange Specialists, 9 Travel Consultants and 3 Assistant Branch Managers.
There will also be an apprentice taken on at each of Hays Travel’s 737 branches over the coming months.
Joint owners John and Irene Hays have so far employed and offered permanent contracts to 2,330 former Thomas Cook employees and continue to recruit people for the former Thomas Cook stores of which 450 have opened in six weeks.
Managing Director John, said: “We’re further increasing staffing to ensure we have the highest customer service levels across all of our stores and our head office functions. These are fantastic permanent career opportunities for people who want to take a step into an exciting industry where every day is different. You don’t necessarily need travel experience – just an enthusiasm for travel, a good head for numbers for the foreign exchange posts and some customer service experience of any kind would be helpful.”
The Hays Travel Academy will provide comprehensive training for those who have never been in the industry before – they could have a new career for Christmas.
The news is a welcome boost for the city of Sunderland, near the town of Seaham where John opened his first store almost 40 years ago.
“I’m delighted that we will create 200 more permanent jobs in the heart of Sunderland’s city centre, joining 500 people already at our newly-opened head office building. They will have the same empowerment and trust that we give all of our colleagues.
“The former Thomas Cook managers have said the biggest difference for them is being empowered and valued – as an independent travel agent they are not tied to certain products or scripts and they feel trusted. This is a key principle of our business.”
Apprentices will go through the recognised two-year apprenticeship programme – rated ‘good’ by Ofsted – to kickstart their career in travel.
John added: “We have always recruited, supported and developed young people – they are the future of our industry. We are looking forward to expanding our apprenticeship programme and making sure there’s at least one travel apprentice on most of the UK’s high streets.”
The company hopes to have discussions with the organisations in the devolved authorities of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man, where there is different infrastructure supporting apprenticeships.
There are now 737 Hays Travel shops in total and currently 4,200 people have permanent jobs – the additional posts will potentially take the workforce to 5,700.
Hays Travel have legal access to all of the former Thomas Cook shops and are currently in discussions with the landlords across the UK to where necessary extend and enhance the leases beyond their existing terms – many of these are for several years.