Hays Travel launches recruitment drive for 1,500 new jobs, including 200 at Sunderland HQ - here's how to apply

Hays Travel has announced a further 1,500 new jobs and apprenticeships, just weeks after employing former Thomas Cook staff across the country following the company’s collapse.

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 9:02 am

The roles at the UK’s largest independent travel agent include 200 new posts at the company’s Sunderland head office, an apprentice at each Hays Travel branch and 500 jobs handling foreign currency in each store.

Following the announcement of travel giant Thomas Cook’s liquidation in September this year, joint owners John and Irene Hayes offered permanent contracts to more than 2,300 former employees – and continues to recruit.

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John and Irene Hays outside the company's Sunderland HQ. Picture: North News and Pictures.

The couple have also opened 450 former Thomas Cook stores in the last six weeks.

John, managing director, 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.

Hays Travel owner John Hays.

“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.”

Where are the roles available and how do I apply?

Two hundred of the new posts will be based at the company's head office, which is in Sunderland’s Keel Square.

Five hundred additional members of staff are also being sought to handle foreign currency across the Hays Travel stores.

John and Irene Hays won Overall Business of the Year and Large Business of the Year at the 2019 Sunderland Echo Portfolio Business Awards.

If you know anyone looking to begin an apprenticeship, Hays has also launched a search to take on a new one for each of its branches.

Apprentices will go through the recognised two-year apprenticeship programme, which is rated as Good by Ofsted.

The Hays Travel Academy will provide comprehensive training for those who have never worked in the industry before.

To apply, contact 0800 215 5045, or visit the company’s website here.

The couple have announced the latest recruitment drive for Hays Travel. Picture: North News and Pictures.

A coup for Wearside – and the North East

The managing director added: “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.”

Hays Travel owner John Hays.

As the search gets underway for Hays Travel apprentices, the company is beginning discussions with the organisations in the devolved authorities of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man, where there is different infrastructure in place to support apprentices.

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.”

Looking to the future

Following Thomas Cook’s collapse, Hays Travel purchased all of the travel company’s former stores.

The firm has legal access to all of the former Thomas Cook shops and is currently in discussions with the landlords across the UK to, where necessary, extend and enhance the leases beyond their existing terms.

John and Irene are at the forefront of the company’s aim to recruit people – including those who may not have a background in the travel industry.

If you have an interest and passion for travel,a nd would like to work for a company that values its people first, you are encouraged to apply.

Call the Hays Travel career number on 0800 215 5045, or visit the company’s website here.

Hays Travel recruit former Thomas Cook staff with Head of Recruitment, Victoria Hill.