Hays Travel apprenticeship scheme is passport to the future, with 500 apprentices set to be recruited

The apprenticeship scheme is more than 40 years old.
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Hays Travel's apprenticeship scheme is just the ticket.

Established by company founder John Hays in 1981, the Ofsted-rated training provider has announced record applications for its 2024 intake.

Millen Janes is six months into his apprenticeshipMillen Janes is six months into his apprenticeship
Millen Janes is six months into his apprenticeship

Hays apprentices work towards a nationally-recognised qualification at the same time as earning a salary and gaining valuable work experience.

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This year, up to 500 apprentices will be recruited into branches around the UK and the company’s Sunderland headquarters.

Apprentices working in shops follow an 18-month programme to attain a Level 3 Travel Consultant, while those in head office achieve a Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner qualification over a year.

Sixteen-year-old Millen Jane is six months into his apprenticeship in the product marketing team: "I was surprised when I joined how big Hays Travel is," he said.

"I thought it was just a few shops, but it’s much more than that and there are so many people here, working in departments within head office and in branches, all with different skills

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"I’ve learned loads – a lot of travel knowledge, but life skills too, like how to manage my time."

He hopes to follow in the footsteps of Hays Chief Operating Officer Jonathon Woodall-Johnston and Head of Retail Paula Barrett, who began as apprentices and have worked their way up through the organisation: “I definitely want to stay here for a while, and ideally move up into management.

"When you’re at school, the first impression of what work is like is being stuck at a computer, but that’s not how it feels - the work is interesting, and everyone gets along and is supportive.

"What I like is that you get one-to-one time with your trainer and there are continuous development opportunities, even once you complete your apprenticeship. The workload has gradually built up as I’ve grown in confidence, but I feel comfortable enough to say if I have too much going on.

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"My advice to future applicants is to just do it. You will meet new people, make new friends, and learn a lot."

Jonathon Woodall-Johnston added: "Having started off as an apprentice myself, I know first-hand how effective an apprenticeship programme is in providing a rounded working and learning experience – one that is hard to find anywhere else.

"Travel offers a brilliant, interesting, and rewarding career and our apprenticeship programme makes it accessible to all with a positive outlook and the will to succeed.

"We recruit apprentices nationwide, and our programme puts participants at the heart of the action. We are a family business, and we value all our colleagues, none more so than our apprentices – everyone works together to support their development and celebrates in their success."

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In their 2023 inspection, OFSTED rated Hays Travel’s apprenticeship programme good overall and outstanding for Behaviour and attitudes and Personal development. The firm was also ranked 11 in the top 100 apprenticeship employers 2023.

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