Hays Travel takes on more than 90 former Thomas Cook workers following the company's collapse
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Hays Travel, the UK's largest independent travel agent, has been working hard to take on former Thomas Cook staff who found themselves suddenly unemployed after the business folded.
The news broke on Monday, September 23, after efforts to put together a bail-out package failed.
Since then the Civil Aviation Authority has been co-ordinating efforts to fly more than 150,000 tourists home.
Hays Travel boss John Hays said his company was the largest third-party agent for Thomas Cook and so faced a ‘mammoth task’ of having to accommodate about 35,000 Thomas Cook bookings following the firm’s collapse.
The business started as a small shop in Seaham and is now the UK’s largest independent travel agency with a £1 billion turnover and more than 500 head office staff - now all under one roof.
It has branches across the region including Sunderland, South Shields, Hartlepool and Northumberland.
As well as accommodating customers, Mr Hays also wanted to help staff affected by the collapse and immediately launched a major recruitment drive to get Thomas Cook staff into existing and specially-created roles.
It has held training and recruitment days at its head office at Gilbridge House, Sunderland, in an effort to employ workers in roles such as retail, homeworking and head office.
And now it has confirmed that it has taken on more than 90 Thomas Cook staff across the country, with more offers pending.
New staff have been mainly placed in retail branches across the country, with a number also taking up positions in head office.
Hays Travel has praised the ‘quality of applicants’ and also held an event at its new head office at Gilbridge House in Sunderland to celebrate the new building and to thank staff for their efforts.
Hays Travel head of recruitment, Victoria Hill, said: “We appreciate the circumstances that applicants are going through, so it is really nice for Hays Travel to be able to offer opportunities and training for these candidates.”