Travel Academy - Sophie Clements

The Hays Travel Academy is a six-month programme for people looking to enter the travel industry but without the relevant experience or qualifications. It was set up in September 2016 so that we could offer fulfilling careers to the many talented people from other industries who have a passion for travel. After a two-week induction covering industry foundations and sales and systems training, recruits are placed in Academy training branches which are experienced branches with strong managers for support. After a period here they are available to fill any retail vacancies we may have.

Head of retail, Paula Barrett, said: “We have been running the Travel Academy programme for almost two years now, and what a success it has been!

“I am delighted that staff who joined us through the Academy programme are already progressing through the ranks and have secured Assistant Manager and Branch Manager positions. Along with our apprentices, our Travel Academy recruits are our future.”

Sophie Clements from our Lymington branch worked for us as a Foreign Exchange Consultant but wanted to move into travel sales. Here’s what she has to say about her experience…

I joined Hays Travel in 2015 as a Foreign Exchange Consultant. I decided to go away travelling for four months around Asia before returning to Hays through the Travel Academy. I realised that I wanted to be a Travel Consultant instead, so I chose to do the Academy as I thought this was the best way to become a one as I’d had no previous experience of selling holidays.

The recruitment process was stress free and painless. The training process was really good fun, I learned so much in such a short space of time which made me feel confident when going into the shop and selling for the first time

My confidence has grown since I first started and I won High Flyer of the Month in April 2018, which was a great achievement for me! But the best thing about my job is the incentives and educationals. I recently went on the Independence of the Seas, which was so much fun and all for free!

I’d like to progress into management one day, which I think is very achievable working for Hays Travel due to the amount of training and support you receive.

Chloe Hansford