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NEWS postponing event last year due to Thomas Cook’s collapse. Amie Keeley reports from Birmingham


Hays Travel IG members Mattie Orvis, My Magic Holiday; Linda Hill Miller (centre), LAH Travel; and Amanda Matthews, Designer Travel


Group pledges to expand IG despite focus on ‘Cook’ stores


H


ays Travel managing director John Hays said the group will continue to grow its


consortium “as much as possible”, despite massive growth in its retail division following its acquisition of the Thomas Cook retail estate. Hays Travel IG has welcomed


eight new agency members since September, seven of which were formerly part of Thomas Cook Group’s Freedom Travel Group. The IG business accounted for


almost half of Hays Travel group’s overall turnover in the 12 months to October, with retail making up most of the other half. The consortium has 112


members, spanning 150 retail shops and more than 300 homeworkers. “We can definitely do both [retail


travelweekly.co.uk


John Hays


But he added: “We have always


focused on quality rather than quantity and want people with a real, viable business.” Chair Irene Hays said Hays


“stress-tested” the business when it was considering taking over some or all of the Thomas Cook stores to ensure it would not impact IG members. Hays also recruited 200 additional


staff in head office. John Hays said demand for its


in-house dynamic packing system HTOL, which is used by both retail staff and IG members, had gone up “significantly”. Combined with recent events


and consortium] and we definitely want to grow IG,” Hays said. “We can handle more members


very easily.”


such as coronavirus, this had caused “unnecessarily long queueing times” for members, which Hays said the company was addressing.


Hays Travel chair Irene Hays addresses the conference


Hays receives 3,000 applications for apprenticeships


More than 3,000 people have applied for Hays Travel’s apprenticeship scheme. The travel group advertised


for 700 places last month and said it had already received 3,024 applications. A total of 650 places are


available across its retail network and 50 spots in its head office in Sunderland. Last year, Hays took on 177 apprentices. Chair Irene Hays said the


business could decide to take on more than 700 apprentices if it “got a good intake”. Hays Travel has run an


apprenticeship scheme for 38 years, with a number of senior staff having started out with the business this way. In November, Hays revealed plans to recruit 1,500 staff.


5 MARCH 2020


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