Thomson and First Choice, a UK-based holiday company and part of TUI UK & Ireland, will offer 130 new apprenticeship positions within the business in 2014, enabling young people to gain full-time employment, while achieving recognised qualifications within the travel industry.
As UK’s largest travel and holiday company, Thomson and First Choice have been recruiting and retaining apprentices aged 16 and over for the past 25 years, training over 7,000 people to date. The apprenticeships offer a certified qualification, as well as a GCSE equivalent in maths and English, personal learning and thinking skills, and a range of technical knowledge.
HR director for TUI UK & Ireland, Caroline Kitcher, said: ‘The apprenticeship scheme forms part of our commitment to recruit real talent to the travel industry. We are offering great career opportunities with strong prospects for the future. Employability, personal training and thinking, technical knowledge, resilience, coping techniques, team work, communication skills – these are all of the tools that our apprentices will gain through our training. We have found that apprentices are highly motivated, quick to learn and eager to achieve within their roles, working collaboratively within their teams.’
Chris Jones, chief executive at the City & Guilds Group, an organisation involved in skills development, commented: ‘Apprenticeships from Thomson and First Choice introduce young people into the workforce as valued, full-time employees, and into a career in a thriving industry. It sets them on a great path to advance their careers in the future.’
Stacie Guiel, who now serves as Travel Advisor after joining the business in June 2011 as a 17-year-old retail apprentice, said: ‘when the opportunity for an apprenticeship in travel services with Thomson and First Choice came up, I took it. An apprenticeship within the travel industry appealed to me because you get to do the job itself while learning, so you gain the knowledge whilst also having the experience to support it’
Over the next 25 years, Thomson and First Choice expect the total number of completed apprenticeships to reach the 15,000 milestone, giving more young people opportunities for a valuable career within the companies.