Hays Travel has revealed plans to hire 1,500 new staff after buying airline Thomas Cook.

The family-run travel company bought the 178-year-old tour operator after it fell into liquidation in September.

Although Hays has already taken on 2,330 former Thomas Cook employees, they plan to add a further 1,500 to help fill its new stores, and for its headquarters.

The company, run by husband-and-wife John and Irene Hays, are looking to hire an extra 500 to handle foreign exchange, 200 people at the Sunderland HQ, as well as 737 apprentices - one for each of its branches across the UK.

Since the Thomas Cook collapse on September 23, Hays has taken over the 555 stores and reopened 450, but they're now looking to expand further.

John said: "We have always recruited, supported and developed young people - they are the future of our industry.

"We are looking forward to expanding our apprenticeship programme and making sure there's at least one travel apprentice on most of the UK's high streets."

 
Tributes outside Thomas Cook store on Market St in September

"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," Mr Hays said.

The recruitment drive will see Hays Travel employ 5,700 people in total.