First of all, let me say how saddened myself and the team were on Monday morning to learn about the collapse of Thomas Cook, a trusted household name. We have provided Thomas Cook with senior management hires in the past and it was a company people aspired to work for.

In terms of the affected staff and how these can find new roles – well if we look at the competitor landscape in the market, there is over capacity – Jet2 and EasyJet will fill some of their hires and look to employ the operations staff in the airlines and in tour operating. EasyJet are recruiting heavily for their own tour operation started earlier this year. Jet2 has already overtaken Thomas Cook in terms of scale and size and is now the 2nd largest tour operator in the UK. The challenge here is seasonality. We are at the end of the Summer season and winter is a quiet time in the travel industry. The demand for staff will be for the summer season, so patience may be required.

So far as retail is concerned, we are sure if Thomas Cook were to start up again, it wouldn’t have anywhere near as many shops as we all know the high street is struggling. Retraining into hospitality could be an option for the retail teams. Historically a lot of hospitality roles would have been filled with European staff but many have gone back because of Brexit. Or of course they could look at homeworking travel businesses.  See the article below.

Location will be a challenge for the HQ teams in Peterborough – if they want to stay in travel particularly, they will need to relocate or have a longer commute. Whilst more companies are offering flexible working, many don’t!

The London office will find it easier as this is where the eCommerce team sits and still demand exceeds supply when it comes to digital roles.

Also the demise of Thomas Cook may stimulate new start-ups being set up by the affected entrepreneurial employees. Thomas Cook has smart, creative, enthusiastic management who were able to generate interesting ideas. So watch this space….