Abbie Wiles - My Apprenticeship story
Hi, my name is Abbie and I work in the Gateshead store, I started my apprenticeship with Hays Travel in August 2018.
I found out about the Hays Travel apprenticeship program whilst working in another independent travel agent part time whilst studying for my A- levels. However when I began to think about my future after sixth form I realised there wasn't any room for me to progress within my role at this Travel Agency into a full time agent. They recommended that I apply for the Hays Travel apprenticeship program to be able to start the progress of my career.
I chose Hays Travel for an apprenticeship as I always knew that I wanted to become a travel agent and after researching all of the benefits of working for Hays such as job security after finishing the Apprenticeship compared to other competitors this made me realise that this was definitely the company that I wanted to work for. With Hays there are also added benefits such as the Christmas and Garden Party. The Apprenticeship that Hays offer is a nationally recognised certificate, and alongside this they offer valuable training experiences paired with on the job learning.
I opted towards an Apprenticeship opposed to other educational routes as after studying my A Levels I realised that I was now ready for working life instead of applying for university. The Apprenticeship also offers valuable on the job learning which helps majorly in progressing within my role compared to taking alternative routes which are all classroom based learning.
I love being an Apprentice at Hays Travel for many reasons, the first being the training experiences that are offered throughout the course. Trainings are very regular and Hays offer you knowledge that you wouldn't receive elsewhere. The training days can consist of information about the company, general travel product knowledge, training days with suppliers and also knowledge that will help towards everyday life. Another reason that I love being an Apprentice at Hays Travel is being able to earn money whilst still learning so whilst I am still being taught the same knowledge and more as I would be if I had chosen alternative routes the difference is I am actually earning money whilst doing so and also gaining on the job experience.
The highlight of my time at Hays Travel so far has definitely been when I was chosen to go on my first educational with Balkan Holidays to Bulgaria. We are often offered educational experiences with our suppliers and by nominating yourself to head office you can be chosen to get the opportunity to go on one. I was chosen due to my good attitude and performance. This was such a massive opportunity for myself as it helped me to grow massively in confidence and also gave me a lot more product knowledge about Bulgaria which has helped me to sell the destination to customers. This was by far one of the best experiences I have ever had and one I will never forget and this would never have happened without working for Hays.
Other highlights include the likes of our charity coach trip. Every branch gets a certain amount of money to do something to help their local community every year. Our branch chose to do two coach trips for families throughout the six weeks holidays to Lightwater Valley and the South Lakes Safari Zoo, on which I organised and lead one of the buses by myself, this was such a great experience for me and helped to grow my confidence massively.
In terms of my future career the apprenticeship has definitely helped me, as it has given me so much knowledge and experience I never would have gained any other way. Working alongside people very high up in the company who themselves started as an Apprentice and who have massively progressed through the ranks also gives you the motivation to do well and want to progress. You are also given constant support towards being able to progress by your trainers, in branch mentor, Apprenticeship assessor and also the management in your own shop.
After my Apprenticeship has finished I would love to take a few years to focus on selling and hopefully become a high flyer for the company. After this I hope to complete our rising stars program which helps you train to become an Assistant Manager to hopefully then progress up to a manager. My management team have totally inspired me to wanting to be like them one day.
I couldn't recommend the Hays Travel Apprenticeship Program enough!
Applications are open now for our apprenticeship scheme, click here to apply!