Bath Travel is to take on 50 apprentices this year as the company looks to use “homegrown talent” across its chain of agencies.

Since becoming part of Hays Travel Group last year, Bath Travel has hosted recruitment events in Exeter, Bournemouth and Portsmouth to encourage young people to apply for apprenticeships.

Jane Schumm, retail and training director at Hays Travel Group, said: “Bath Travel had never really had a focus on apprentices before and that has been an important part of Hays for a long time, so we were keen to hold three recruitment events.

“We went out looking to take on about 25 apprentices but the turnout was so great that it looks like we will be taking on about 50 – which is almost enough to have one in each of the Bath shops.

“In total, across the whole group we are taking on about 120 apprentices, but we are  still doing interviews at the moment so it could increase.”

Schumm said the company had always thought it important to promote people from within.

“It’s very good for us to grow our own talent from within and at the school or college-leaver age,” she said. “Quite a few of the Hays shops have staff where everyone has come up through the apprentice scheme and that is homegrown talent.”

Schumm said the apprenticeship scheme had proved popular in the north, with 1,000 applicants vying for 35 retail positions and 22 positions at Hays’ head office. 

The group has its own approved centre for learning with two full time assessors. The apprentices work towards a Level 3 NVQ sales customer service qualification, while others can go on to complete training in team leading.

Hays has trained 382 people since starting its in-house assessment in 2010.