Hays Travel is hoping to recruit more apprentices than it did last year, targeting “one for every branch”.
The UK’s largest independent agency chain, with 157 branches, has employed apprentices since the 1980s, including 146 new recruits in 2017.
When added to those already on the programme, there were 242 apprentices on Hays’ books last year after 3,145 applications. The agency was recently voted among the top 100 companies for employing apprentices.
So far this year, there have been 983 applications and roles are available as travel consultants and in head office roles such as customer service, marketing and IT.
Carole Hodgson, apprentices delivery manager, said: “Every year we’ve seen a huge number of applications. We firmly believe in the apprenticeship programme and what apprentices can do for Hays Travel.
“This year we want to recruit the same or more than last year. One for every branch.”
Hodgson, who joined Hays as an apprentice in June 1988, said the agency is looking for “enthusiasm, passion and personality” in its apprentices and vowed to help them progress their careers.
Applicants are asked to attend an assessment day where they present a holiday as part of the recruitment process. Open days have also been arranged for early March, around National Apprenticeship Week.
She added: “Apprentices bring new, fresh ideas, especially in evolving areas like digital marketing.
“We find apprentices quickly progress into our rising stars and management positions. Progression rates are really high.
“Hays Travel has expanded hugely, and we are continuing that expansion. Having apprentices who have been with us from the start of their careers helps us with that.”
Offering progression is key to retaining the apprentices, Hodgson added, as well as saying that it creates a talent pool for the whole industry.
“These are young people who want to explore and see the world. We find that apprentices learn a lot at Hays Travel, sometimes move on to be reps or work for airlines, and then return to us later in their careers,” she said.
To find out more, visit Hays Travel’s career’s page.