Industry veterans Kevin Brett and Gary Orr have joined forces to establish a start-up designed to support travel workers hit by Covid job cuts to gain new employment.

They have collaborated to create TOP Network as a new gateway for UK and overseas hospitality and tourism businesses to quickly resource themselves with skilled and knowledgeable talent as the travel industry recovery starts.

The duo recognised that many talented colleagues across the travel industry are facing reduced hours or redundancy and wanted to act to support them.

TOP Network is designed as a platform to match up each individual’s knowledge and experience with businesses who may need help to quickly pull in talent and skills for short-term projects and longer-term contracts.

These may be UK travel companies needing help or overseas tourism businesses looking for UK and European representation.

An agile system has been created offering travel businesses the option of ‘dip in and out’ services, catering to limited budgets and understanding that current staffing levels need to be scalable and responsive to market conditions.

The new venture is looking to hear from travel industry personnel with relevant experience and specialist skills in roles such as communications, sales, marketing, product development, contracting, copy writing and customer services, who are available for freelance and consultancy opportunities.

Travel, tourism and hospitality businesses will be able to discuss opportunities and review TOP Network’s talent pool.

Former Best Western Hotels and Disney executive Brett said: “Many very talented travel people and travel businesses are sadly being impacted.

“Now seems the most appropriate time for TOP Network to launch and to try to help keep our industry talent engaged in doing what they love, but to also create solutions to help travel firms through the recovery phase and to grow.

“TOP Network wants to offer real solutions to travel industry colleagues facing very real problems, both short and long term.

“We want to encourage colleagues not only to think about their obvious core skill sets, but also to think about other transferable skills they may have in disciplines such as accountancy, HR and customer services and to get in touch.

“Whilst many sectors of the travel and leisure industry are suffering we can see that there will be a need to resource talent for short term and long term projects.”

Orr, with 35 years travel industry experience including working brands like Virgin and Thomas Cook, added: “Over past months, as we spoke to many of our travel industry contacts a common theme appeared.

“Whilst there is uncertainty now, the consensus is that our travel and leisure industry will survive and become stronger and that we will need to adapt and find new ways of working. We listened and took up on these ideas to create TOP Network.”