Thomas Cook new owner Hays Travel creates 1,500 jobs & apprenticeships

Hays Travel

The company that bought the Thomas Cook UK store estate following the tour operator’s collapse is to create 1,500 new positions.

Hays Travel, which paid liquidators £6m to acquire the 555 rented premises, said it had opened 450 of the sites since the deal was announced last month.

It took its total number of UK stores to 737 branches.

Thomas Cook stores are being rebranded as they reopen under new owner Hays Travel

It announced that an apprenticeship position was on offer at each of its stores under its Academy programme.

Hays added it was currently seeking 200 staff for its headquarters in Sunderland and 500 workers to handle its in-store foreign currency exchange operations.

Managing director John Hayes 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.

“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.”

The additional posts will take the company’s workforce to 5,700.

Its high street expansion has been seen as risky, given the challenges that have faced UK town centres since last year from online competition.

Retailers have reported a sharp drop in consumer confidence at a time of surging costs from rising wages, rents and business rates.

Hays has based its investment on the belief UK consumers value trusted face-to-face customer service when it comes to package holidays.

It is not the only company looking to fill the void left by Thomas Cook.

EasyJet used the publication of its latest financial results this week to confirm it was looking to bolster its own tour operator business.

Other airline competitors have noted increased consumer interest.