THE travel agency that bought Thomas Cook after it went into liquidation has created more than one thousand jobs in the process.
Hays Travel has recruited 1500 workers and apprentices after already offering permanent contracts to all former employees of the collapsed firm.
A nationwide appeal has been launched by Hays Travel to fill 200 new posts at their head office in Sunderland, with another 500 jobs available handling foreign currency at UK stores.
John and Irene Hays, joint owners of the company, have employed and offered permanent contracts to 2,330 former Thomas Cook workers and continue to recruit people for their new stores, of which 450 have opened in six weeks.
Mr Hays, managing director of Hays Travel, 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."
John and Irene Hays, joint owners of Hays Travel, inside of a company office
The company will create 200 permanent jobs in the heart of Sunderland's city centre, joining 500 people already at the recently opened head office building.
Mr Hays said: "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."
The Hays Travel Academy will provide comprehensive training for those with no experience in the industry, and the agency aims to recruit an apprentice at each of its branches, all of which will go through a two-year programme to kickstart their career in travel.
Mr Hays added: "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."
There are now 737 Hays Travel shops in total and currently 4,200 people have permanent jobs, with the additional posts expected to take the job total to 5,700.