Being under consultation with the threat of losing your job must be extremely worrying and upsetting – especially at this time of year.

So I really feel for the 400 Thomas Cook staff who have been told their jobs are at risk as the company announced 50 branch closures by March 2018.

But as a former Thomas Cook employee writes on our letters page today, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

She went through a similar situation 11 years ago, moved into homeworking – and has never looked back.

And if anything, those displaced but highly-qualified staff hold the cards in the current market.

I have lost count of the number of companies desperate to find well-trained and experienced agents to join their homeworking organisations, or their expanding independent retail networks.

You only have to read stories in Travel Weekly over the past few months to see that those who are made redundant should hopefully not be out of work for long.

In the last few months alone, we have reported on Hays Travel’s plans to open concessions in WHSmith across the country; The Travel Franchise’s intention to target existing agents, rather than new-to-travel members; Inspire’s search for 20 agents to work from home; Just Go’s plans to add further shops to its network; and the likes of Miles Morgan Travel taking on disgruntled ‘multiples’ staff anywhere in the UK and building a business around them.

They may not be required anymore on those high streets with too much competition and low footfall, but knowledgeable, experienced agents have never been in greater demand.

Comment from Travel Weekly, December 7 edition