Hays Travel to have three intakes of apprentices this year

Hays Travel will have three intakes of apprentices this year to help the firm combat the current recruitment crisis, chief operating officer Jonathon Woodall-Johnston said.

The country’s largest independent retail chain usually takes one intake of apprentices per year and in September 2021 took on 450 apprentices – equivalent to around one per branch.

So far this year, the group has taken on 92 apprentices in January. It will take a further tranche in June and another in September.

“We see this as key to growing our own staff,” said Woodall-Johnston, who started his career as an apprentice 18 years ago. Prior to the pandemic, 64% of the senior team at Hays were apprentices, he added.

Speaking at the Hays Travel Independence Group 2022 Conference, he called the “great resignation” one of the biggest challenges to the sector.

“One of the things we have been looking at is ways we can retain our staff,” he said, adding: “It’s making sure the culture is right; it’s not just the benefits that colleagues are looking for.”

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