Hays Travel has opened an academy in partnership with Sunderland College as it looks to bring “new blood” into the industry.
The Hays Travel Academy opened last week for travel and tourism students to give youngsters training and hands-on travel agency experience.
The partnership comes a week after tourism minister Helen Grant told Travel Weekly that backing training and skills in travel would be a key focus for her department for the next two months ahead of the general election in May.
John Hays (pictured), managing director of Hays Travel, said students would get the opportunity to work with Hays’ operating systems, and access support and training from industry professionals.
Work placements at Hays Travel branches in the surrounding area are also on offer.
Hays said training had always been a key focus for the company but that he hoped the new partnership would help set students up for a future in the travel industry.
“The partnership is all about me working alongside academics to enable the students to get much more experience,” he said. “We will support them with agency training; I will go in and give lectures and they can spend time in our head office.”
Hays added the academy would help bring new talent into the industry and that he would happily recruit students or help them get jobs elsewhere in the sector upon completion of their courses.
The college also has its own student-run agency, City Sun Travel, which launched in 2008 and is a Hays Independence Group member.
Hays Travel is one of a growing number of travel firms, including Barrhead Travel and Ocean Holidays, to have established an apprenticeship scheme. It takes on 100 apprentices every year.
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