Travel House has awarded staff pay rises of between 3% and 8% from this month and doubled the amount agents can earn in its bonus scheme in a bid to retain and attract new employees.
The South Wales travel agency chain currently has 14 branches trading, while a further two remain closed temporarily.
Kate Bowen, head of business development at Swansea.com, owner of Travel House, said the company had assessed staff performance and awarded rises accordingly.
“We didn’t give out any pay rises in the pandemic,” she said.
“This is to incentivise staff and help support them with the increase in the cost of living.”
The Bank of England has tipped UK inflation to hit 8% this spring.
Travel House has also doubled the amount it awards staff in bonus payments for hitting sales targets in comparison with 2019 and removed the cap on how much agents can earn through the scheme.
Head of retail Leanne Williams said the business wanted to ensure it didn’t lose staff following a tough two years during the pandemic.
“We want to retain staff and attract new recruits,” she said. “Staff have worked extra hard from home and in the branch over the last two years and we want them to stay.”
Williams added that it was also important staff were aware of opportunities to move up the ladder to senior and higher-paid roles.
“We want them to see that they can work their way up,” she said.
Traditionally, the agency chain has relied on a steady annual stream of apprentices, with most branches having one apprentice at any one time.
The company has already started to recruit apprentices again and is actively looking to take on more, said Bowen, with the ultimate aim to take on an apprentice in “around half” of the group’s branches.
The Travel Services Apprenticeship is no longer offered in Wales and instead the company takes on staff on Customer Services Apprenticeships and trains them in-house on how to work as a travel agent.
Bowen added: “Having apprentices is something that has always worked for us as a way to bring young people into the business.”
Any staff member who completes an apprenticeship with the agency automatically has their salary raised to the national minimum wage for people aged 23 and above, regardless of their own age.
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