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We’ll meet again

FOUR of the trade’s retail chains have agreed to a
raft of measures aimed at improving working conditions in the
industry.

Representatives from Going Places, First Choice, Thomas Cook and
British Airways Travel Shops, plus ABTA, found Travel
Weekly’s inaugural human resources forum such a success they
plan to meet again in the new year.

The participants – Going Places HR director Katie Clough
and HR adviser Sharron Dowling, First Choice HR director Jacky
Simmonds, Thomas Cook HR director Clive Adkin, British Airways
Travel Shops HR manager Kerry Turner and ABTA chief executive Ian
Reynolds – agreed on the crucial need for greater
co-operation to improve agent retention and job security.

Concerned about the industry’s high staff turnover rate
– estimated to be 30% – the group have agreed to share
information on why staff leave the sector and to find agents
alternative roles in the trade when redundancies are made.

The retailers agreed to consider the potential of ABTA’s
Accredited Travel Professional training scheme, which aims to make
travel a respected sector with industry-wide training
standards.

Recent employment legislation has also encouraged the retailers
to share best practice – particularly next year’s
Information Consultation Directive. This gives all employees the
right to demand access to company-wide information affecting
them.

Guest speaker Jill Foley, managing director of consultancy 7days
which aids companies during restructures, said the trade should
make more of the diverse jobs available to attract and retain
staff.

Thomas Cook’s Adkin said the forum was “good for the whole
industry”.

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