Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a qualification which incorporates working, learning new skills and earning a training wage.

What will I be studying?

You’ll work towards gaining a level 2 and 3 apprenticeship in travel services.

The level 2 apprenticeship in travel services includes:

  • NVQ Level 2 diploma in travel services
  • Technical certificate
  • Level 2 functional / core skills in maths and English (if required)

The level 3 apprenticeship in travel services includes:

  • NVQ level 3 diploma in travel services
  • Technical certificate
  • Level 2 functional / core skills maths and English (if required, and if not already completed during the level 2 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’re agreeing to complete both the level 2 and level 3 apprenticeships

What’s an NVQ Diploma?

A National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is a work-based qualification, which means that you’re assessed on everyday tasks you complete as part of your job. You’ll build an e-portfolio of work-based evidence, which will include observations, product evidence, witness testimonies and statements.

What’s a Technical Certificate?

A technical certificate is also an industry recognised national qualification; it focuses on the knowledge and understanding you’ll need to complete your apprenticeship.  To achieve the technical certificate, you’ll need to pass a few assessments and complete several assignments. Topics covered in the technical certificate 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 during work and normal everyday life. We deliver functional / core skills in English, maths, ICT, working with others and problem solving. Completing these qualifications will depend on your prior qualifications, you may be exempt.

How long does the apprenticeship take to complete?

The apprenticeship programme (levels 2 and 3)  takes about two years to complete.

Where will I be working?

Where you work will depend on which vacancy you apply for. You could be working in one of our many retail stores, sales centres or head office functions.

If you work in one of our retail stores based in a city centre, you could be joining a team of 30 people.  Or if you work in one of our retail stores based in a smaller town, you could be joining a team of eight people.

Our sales centres and head office functions 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’re based in one of our many retail stores / sales centres you will be training to become a qualified Sales Consultant, where your key responsibility will be to maximise all sales opportunities.  You’ll need to do this whilst ensuring you sell the right product to meet the customer needs and remain totally customer focused. You’ll be set monthly sales and performance targets to achieve so good communication skills are essential. You’ll be taught how to use the internal booking systems, so if you’ve got good IT skill, that would be great. However, full training will be given.

If you’re based in one of our head office functions, you’ll complete the same work as your colleagues. The work you’ll complete will depend on which team / department you’re working in.  For example, HR, ecommerce, finance, etc.

What hours will I be working?

You’ll work 37.5 hours a week but days and hours will depend on where you work.  You may need to work different shifts, work on a Sunday and bank holidays and if you’re based in a shopping centre, you may need to work  in the evening every now and again.  Your study time and training workshops will be incorporated into your working week.

What pay and benefits will I get?

We offer a good training salary, which increases when you complete the level 2 apprenticeship.  You’ll receive another pay rise when you complete your level 3 apprenticeship and you’re a fully qualified sales consultant!  As an apprentice, you’ll enjoy some of the same benefits as your colleagues such as incentive, commission, fantastic holiday deals and discounted entry to a number of theme parks.

What training will I get?

All of our apprentices receive both on and off the job training. Most of your training will be on the job (at your place of work) however you’ll occasionally need to travel to one of our many training venues for a variety of different workshops.  During the workshops, you’ll get to learn, develop and meet other apprentices.  Whether you’re driving or using public transport, we’ll cover the cost of all travelling expenses.

Wherever you’re working in the business, our team of in-house assessors will help you to gain the skills you need in order to

If you work in one of our stores or sales centres, our team of in-house Assessors will help you to gain the skills needed to achieve your qualification, succeed in your role and give your customer the best experience possible.  They’ll train you on various subjects including product knowledge, selling skills, worldwide geography, the International Date Line and time zones.  If you work in one of our head office functions, you’ll also receive great support and training.

What support will I get?

You’ll be designated a mentor, who’ll be an experienced member of your team. Your mentor will help you to settle in and provide you with the guidance needed to make sure you progress well with your work.  You’ll also be appointed an in-house assessor. Your assessor will visit you every four – six weeks and will complete assessment and review visits with you.  They’ll also work with you to create bespoke action plans, so you’ll always know what you’ll be working on next. If you need help or advice in between your visits, you can call or email your assessor, they’re always happy to help!

Why should I complete an apprenticeship?

Our apprenticeship programme will challenge you to improve your skills, your knowledge and it’s extremely rewarding. The travel industry is exciting but it’s also difficult to get into; 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 to kick-start an exciting travel career.

What happens after my apprenticeship?

Once you’ve successfully completed the apprenticeship programme, we’ll offered you a permanent position.  We offer clear career pathways and a variety of future career opportunities; many of our managers started their career as an apprentice.