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Hays Travel creates 1,500 new jobs following Thomas Cook acquisition

Independent travel agent, Hays Travel, has announced a further 1,500 new jobs and apprenticeships following its acquisition of Thomas Cook in October.

The roles, which are available now, include 200 new posts at the company’s head office in Sunderland, northeast England, and 500 jobs handling foreign currency in each of the new Hays Travel stores around the UK.

There will also be an apprentice taken on at each of Hays Travel’s 737 branches over the coming months.

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

John, managing director, 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.

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

He added: “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.”

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

It comes after all of the companies in Thomas Cook’s group, including Thomas Cook Airlines, ceased trading on 23 September, leaving over 21,000 staff out of work.

Some 555 of Thomas Cook’s retail shops closed at the time after the company was denied a government bailout of £250m. Thomas Cook’s CEO Peter Fankhauser said the firm’s collapse was a “matter of profound regret”.

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