Travel Counsellors today reported an “unprecedented” rise in job seekers following Thomas Cook announcing the closure of 195 agency branches and 2,500 redundancies.
The homeworking agency says there is a future for “talented travel professsionals” and is organising a number of recruitment initiatives including ‘discovery days’ across the UK.
These will offer an insight to the future of travel and show retail agents that there is an alternative to life on the high street.
Cook staff facing job losses are being invited to annual mini-conferences being held in Manchester, Birmingham and London on April 15-27. A special webcast will also be held.
Travel Counsellors who have previously worked on the high street, and for Cook in particular, will be attending the discovery days and will host the webcast.
Some existing Travel Counsellors have offered to open their homes to those interested in joining so they can see how the company works and answer questions.
“This will give potential recruits the chance to speak directly with people who have been in their position before, and hear why they took the leap to run their own business,” Travel Counsellors said.
The company believes its impressive sales for the start of the year is proving a “compelling reason” for Cook employees to express interest in joining Travel Counsellors.
Average earnings for UK Travel Counsellors are up to £21,000 in the past year, with the top 100 earning £59,871.
Head of global recruitment Simon Burke said: “We have had to reprint a new batch of our information packs as the demand has outstripped our normal supply.
“We are mindful that this is very difficult time for Thomas Cook employees and we want to give them as much support as possible, so this is why we’re going to lengths to ensure they see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Travel Counsellors quoted former Cook employee Donna Horner who said the idea of working from home had worried her but "it really has been the best thing I’ve ever done".
“I’ve never known support like it, not in all the years I worked on the high street. I feel far from isolated, in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth – I felt more isolated when I was working on the high street.
"Importantly, I do earn decent money. I can understand why some Thomas Cook employees may feel anxious about taking the leap and may want to try to find a job on the high street, but all I can say is taking the step to work for Travel Counsellors have allowed me to truly enjoy working in travel again.”
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