Hays Travel, which bought Thomas Cook, is recruiting in Scarborough

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The independent travel agent which bought Thomas Cook is recruiting a further 1500 workers and apprentices in a major jobs boost after already offering permanent contracts to all former employees of the collapsed firm.

Hays Travel has launched a nationwide appeal to fill the new posts, which include four positions being advertised in Scarborough at the Westborough branch.

The company is hiring a branch manager, assistant branch manager, travel consultant and foreign exchange consultant.

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On Hays Travel's recruitment website 200 new posts are being advertised at the company's head office in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, and an extra 500 jobs handling foreign currency at stores across the UK.

John and Irene Hays. PIC: North News & Pictures LimitedJohn and Irene Hays. PIC: North News & Pictures Limited
John and Irene Hays. PIC: North News & Pictures Limited

The company, which came to rescue last month and took over the holiday giant when it went into administration, is also recruiting an apprentice at each of the firm's 737 branches.

Joint owners John and Irene Hays have so far employed and offered permanent contracts to 2,330 former Thomas Cook workers and continue to recruit people for their new stores, of which 450 have opened in six weeks.

John, managing director of Hays Travel, the UK's largest independent travel agent, 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.

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"These are fantastic permanent career opportunities for people who want to take a step into an exciting industry where every day is different.

"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."

He added that The Hays Travel Academy will provide comprehensive training for those with no experience in the industry, who could have a new career for Christmas.

The news is a welcome boost for the city of Sunderland, near the town of Seaham where John opened his first store almost 40 years ago.

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John said: "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."

Apprentices will go through the recognised two-year apprenticeship programme - rated 'good' by Ofsted - to kickstart their career in travel.

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The company hopes to have discussions with the organisations in the devolved authorities of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man, where there is different infrastructure supporting apprenticeships.

There are now 737 Hays Travel shops in total and currently 4,200 people have permanent jobs – the additional posts will potentially take the workforce to 5,700.

Hays Travel have legal access to all of the former Thomas Cook shops and are currently in discussions with the landlords across the UK where necessary to extend and enhance the leases beyond their existing terms – many of these are for several years.

Hays Travel say it is continuing to recruit people who may not have a background in the industry, but have an interest and passion for travel and would like to work for a company that values its people first.

For more information contact: 0800 215 5045 or visit: www.haystravel.co.uk/careers

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