The travel company that bought Thomas Cook has taken on 2,330 workers who lost their jobs when it crashed – and plans to hire another 1,500 nationwide.
Hays Travel wants to recruit another 200 people at its head office, 500 more to handle foreign exchange currency and an apprentice at each of its 737 branches.
The plan has been seen as a vote of confidence in the package holiday market.
Hays took on all of Thomas Cook’s 555 shops in October after the travel agent, founded in 1841, collapsed in September.
Since then it has reopened 450 of those stores and hired former staff.
John Hays, who runs the Sunderland-based firm with his wife Irene, said: “We’re further increasing staffing to ensure we have the highest customer service levels across all of our stores.’’
He said applicants did not need experience in the sector, “just an enthusiasm for travel”. The hiring spree will take Hays’ workforce to 5,700.
John 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.”
Hays’ recruitment drive comes as easyJet announced plans to relaunch its own package holiday operation.