A fast-growing Merseyside travel firm is launching a search for over 40 new apprentices who will be given the added perk of road-testing dream holidays.
Hays Travel North West, which has 46 travel agencies across the North West and North Wales, including in Birkenhead, Bebington, Ellesmere Port, Heswall, Moreton, Prenton, Wallasey, and West Kirby, says it needs the new recruits to cater for record demand.
They will be holding three days of open events at Liverpool, Manchester and Wrexham on April, 12, 13 and 14 with each person attending given the chance to give a presentation on their own dream destination and how to get there.
They are looking to bolster teams in their shops and Regional Sales Manager, Simone Murphy, from Bebington, a former Hays apprentice, said, “Last year was the first time we had held open events for applicants and we weren’t sure how it would go but it produced some of the best candidates we’ve ever had so we’re doing it again this year.
“Once again we’re starting early to reach more candidates and give them the chance to come along and meet us, learn more about what we do and see if a career in travel and tourism is for them.
“There will be some simple tests on subjects like geography but it is very informal and is more to gauge what they know now and how they respond so we can adjust their training to suit them.
“We found last year that many of them made friends with fellow candidates on the open day and built a bond so that when the successful applicants went to their first training session they already knew some of their colleagues.”
The open days will be a chance to meet staff at Hays Travel and to learn more about the travel industry and the opportunities it provides after which the successful applicants will be invited for an interview with the manager of the branch they have applied for.
The new appointees will start work in July and will be provided with a comprehensive training package with a nationally-recognised qualification, an NVQ Level Two/Three in Travel and Tourism on completion.
Hays is again seeing a surge in bookings this year with numbers up by 25 per cent on pre-Covid levels and favourite destinations include mainland Spain, Greece and Portugal, the Canaries, Balearics, Florida and Cruise, while Turkey is also popular with the lira in freefall against the pound and Russian holidaymakers staying at home.
Simone joined Hays Travel at 16 straight from school in 2005 at her local Bebington branch and worked her way up to Assistant Manager at the newly-opened Connah’s Quay branch, then managed stores at Mold and Wrexham before being appointed Regional Sales Manager.
Her first educational trip with Hays was a year into her apprenticeship and since then she has been to many bucket list destinations including Mexico and South Africa’s Garden Route and has won a number of awards.
Among the 2022 recruits is 18-year-old Brandon Goodwin-Sheridan who was on work experience with the company when he attended last year’s Liverpool open day.
He was taken on in July and last month earned a £1,000 bonus for his outstanding sales. He said, “I was at college and really wanted to work in the travel industry so when this came up it was a no-brainer.
“It has been amazing and I absolutely love it here and want to try and do it all because Hays are a brilliant company to work for and I’m going on a trip to Cyprus this year so there are really good benefits as well.
“The Hays Travel Apprenticeship means I can learn while I earn and getting a bonus at the end of the month really makes my day and I have been putting this to one side to save for an upcoming holiday to San Francisco.’’
Hays Travel North West, which is fully ABTA and ATOL-registered, was set up by Don Bircham in Mold town centre, in Flintshire, in 2000, and has grown rapidly since then across North Wales, the North West and West Midlands.
To apply for a Hays Travel apprentice website go to https://careers.haystravel.co.uk/apprenticeships/apply or through the National Apprenticeship website
Image: Simone Murphy of Hays Travel. Credit: Mandy Jones Photography