Apprentice

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships allow you to start work and earn a training wage, while learning new skills that will lead to a nationally recognised qualification.

What will I be studying?

You will work towards gaining an Apprenticeship, and an Advanced Apprenticeship in Travel Services.

The Apprenticeship in Travel Services includes:

  • NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Travel Services
  • Technical Certificate
  • Functional / Core Skills Level 2 Maths and English (If required)

The Advanced Apprenticeship in Travel Services includes:

  • NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Travel Services
  • Technical Certificate
  • Functional / Core Skills Level 2 Maths and English (If required, and if not already completed during the Apprenticeship)

An NVQ Level 2 Diploma is equivalent to five GCSE passes and an NVQ Level 3 Diploma is equivalent to two ‘A’ level passes. By enrolling onto the Thomas Cook Co-operative Travel Apprenticeship Programme you are agreeing to complete both the Level 2 and Level 3 Apprenticeship.

What is an NVQ Diploma?

A National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is a work-based qualification, which means that you are assessed on everyday tasks you complete as part of your job. You will build an e-portfolio of work-based evidence, which includes observations, product evidence, witness testimonies, questions and answers and statement writing.

What is a Technical Certificate?

A Technical Certificate is an Awarding Body Progression Award. It is designed to give you more knowledge and understanding of your job. To achieve your Technical Certificate you will study towards and pass a number of exams and will also complete several assignments. Topics covered include travel geography, customer service, special interest holidays and travel planning.

What are Functional / Core Skills?

Functional / Core Skills are important skills which will help you in both your working and normal everyday life. We deliver Functional / Core Skills in English, maths, information computer technology, working with others and problem solving. Whether you are asked to complete Functional / Core Skills is all dependant on your prior qualifications. To achieve your Functional Skills, you will study towards and pass an exam in the relevant subject.  To achieve your Core Skills, you will complete an assignment in the relevant subject.

How long does it take to complete?

The Thomas Cook Co-operative Travel Apprenticeship Programme typically takes 24 months to compete.

Where will I be working?

Where you work depends on which vacancy you apply for. You will be working in one of our many retail stores, sales centres or support offices that have a vacancy for an Apprentice.

If you work in one of our retail stores based in a city centre you could be joining a team of 30 experienced staff, or if you work in one of our retail stores based in a market town you could be joining a team of 8 experienced staff.

Our sales centres and support offices employ hundreds of people who are divided up into different departments and have teams of 5 to 15 people.

What sort of work will I be doing?

If you are based in one of our many retail stores / sales centres you will be training to become a qualified Sales Consultant, where your key responsibility is to maximise all sales opportunities whilst ensuring you sell the right product to meet the customer needs and remain totally customer focused. You will be set monthly sales and performance targets to achieve and therefore good communication skills are essential. You will be taught how to use the internal booking systems, therefore IT skills are beneficial. However, full training will be given.

If you are based in one of our support offices you will complete the same work as your colleagues. You may work on one of our administration, business support or customer service teams. Here you may provide a telephone and back-up administrative help desk service to travel agents or direct and internal customers. Much of your work will be computer based and therefore good IT skills are beneficial.

What hours will I be working?

You will be contracted to complete a 37.5 hour week but what days and hours you work, depends on where you work. You will be asked to work the same hours as your full time colleagues, which may involve shift work, working on a Sunday, public holidays or working extended opening hours if you are based in a shopping centre.

Your study time and training courses will be incorporated into your working week.

What pay and benefits will I get?

The Thomas Cook Co-operative Travel Apprenticeship Programme offers a training salary. This is a training programme and therefore the national minimum wage does not apply. As your skills develop, your pay will increase accordingly. As an Apprentice you will enjoy some of the same benefits as your colleagues such as earnings through sales incentive programmes, fantastic holiday deals and discounted entry to a number of theme parks.

What training will I get?

As an Apprentice you will receive both on and off the job training. Most of your training will be on the job and therefore at your place of work however there will be occasions when you are required to travel to one of our many training venues for off the job training where you will get the chance to meet and train with other Thomas Cook Co-operative Travel Apprentices. These training courses may involve you travelling on public transport, which will be paid for by Thomas Cook Co-operative Travel.

If you work in one of our many retail stores or sales centre our in-house Assessors will help you to gain the skills needed to help our customers book holidays. They will train you on various subjects, including product knowledge, selling skills, worldwide geography, International Date Line and time zones – all of which will help you achieve your Apprenticeship and also in your role as a trainee Sales Consultant.

If you work in one of our support offices you will also receive training from our in-house Assessors, who will help you to gain the skills needed to carry out the work designated to you, as well as the knowledge needed to achieve your Apprenticeship.

What support will I get?

You will be designated a Mentor who will be an experienced member of the Thomas Cook Co-operative Travel team. Your Mentor will help you settle in and ensure that you are progressing with your Apprenticeship work. You will also be appointed an in-house Assessor. Your Assessor will visit you at pre-arranged, regular intervals and will assign personalised action plans of work to complete. They are also contactable in between visits, for any help and advice that may be required.

Why complete an Apprenticeship?

The Thomas Cook Co-operative Travel Apprenticeship Programme will challenge you to improve your skills and knowledge and is extremely rewarding. The travel industry is a difficult industry to get in to as many employers look for knowledge as well as experience. The Thomas Cook Co-operative Travel Apprenticeship Programme will help you to gain the knowledge and experience you need.

What happens after my Apprenticeship?

Once you have successfully completed the Thomas Cook Co-operative Travel Apprenticeship Programme you will be offered a permanent position within one of our stores or departments and from there, a diverse selection of future career opportunities will be available to you. Many of our Managers started their career as an Apprentice.