THE UK’S fastest growing independent travel firm has launched a major recruitment drive to find 20 new apprentices.
Hays Travel North West, which has 29 branches across North Wales and the North West including its head office in Wrexham’s Lord Street and branches in Flint, Connah’s Quay, Mold, Colwyn Bay and Rhyl, is looking for the next generation of travel industry high fliers.
The firm’s bosses started a comprehensive apprentice scheme three years ago and it has been so successful that they are looking again for a new wave of fresh intakes.
Lindsey Barber, Retail Director for Hays Travel North West, said:
“We are keen to support a new wave of young people from the areas local to our branches and help them set off on a new and exciting travel career path.
“Seeing young people, from the communities we serve, flourish in our business and go from scratch to management positions within the stores has been very rewarding both personally and for the business. We are excited to welcome a new wave of candidates passionate about a career in travel.
“I started in the industry myself as an apprentice aged 16 and it is a fantastic career.
“It would be a great opportunity for a young person with an interest in travel because you do have to have an enthusiasm for the industry in order to be successful with us.
“It has the potential to provide a guaranteed job and career with great prospects and they will also get the chance to travel to different countries.
“It is important to the personalised service we provide that our teams have first-hand knowledge of many of the holidays we offer so they can help our customers find the right holiday.
“Our apprentices are no exception and so there will be opportunities for them to explore the world.”
Applicants do not need any previous experience in the travel trade. They will first be required to fill in an application form and if successful, will be called forward for a one-to-one interview before a final decision is made.
One of those who has already made it through the recruitment process and is two thirds through her first year as an apprentice is Danielle Hill, 17, who joined Hays Travel straight from school in September last year and works in their Mold branch.
Danielle, who lives in Queensferry, said:
“I was thinking of training to be cabin crew for an airline but I saw the Hays Travel apprentice position advertised and decided to go for it. Now I have started here, it’s a really lovely job to do and I am really pleased to be learning so much and getting so much experience while working at the same time. I am so glad I decided to give it a go.
“You don’t realise how much is involved in a role like this. You are meeting different people every day, helping them with all sorts of different destinations and so you have to learn pretty quickly to adapt to different people and be very organised as you help them plan their special holidays.
“I feel like I am developing so many new skills and I would urge any young person, like me, who has an interest in travel, to think about applying.”
Danielle’s enthusiasm for her job was echoed by Lydia Pendlebury, Manager for Hays Travel Mold, who also started as an apprentice for the company eight years ago and now runs her branch.
Lydia, who lives in Carmel and has travelled with her job to Greece, Thailand, the Caribbean and been on a number of cruises, said:
“Everybody needs to start somewhere and the great thing about being an apprentice is that you get to work and learn at the same time.
“If you work hard, then you know there will be a solid job for you at the end of the apprenticeship where there are fantastic travel opportunities and great career progression.
“It’s a brilliant industry to be part of and lots of people joke that once you do travel, you won’t do anything else and even if you do leave, you will always end up coming back. There are a lot worse jobs than sending people on their holidays!
“I have loved every minute of my career and I really can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Hays Travel North West is the main partner of the hugely successful Hays Travel, based in Sunderland, which is expected this year to turnover more than £1bn and is the UK’s largest independent travel agency.
The top travel firm has a track record of recruiting apprentices which stretches back to the 1980s and is itself hoping to recruit more than 150 apprentices this year.
At the end of last year, it was named as one of the top 100 apprenticeship employers in the UK, in a list compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service to recognise excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.