Travel industry rallies around staff affected by Thomas Cook collapse

Thousands of employees affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook have received a wave of support after the company went into administration.

Rival airlines, train operators and members of the public have been offering their help to the 21,000 staff who lost their roles.

The government has pledged support to help those left without work.

It comes after passengers reportedly rallied together to organise a collection for staff on one of the final Thomas Cook flights, while others launched a Facebook page as a hub for staff looking for work near the grounded company's HQ.

Virgin and GWR are among those offering roles to Thomas Cook staff. Credit: PA

Great Western Railway tweeted to say it had roles available for customer hosts within its franchise.

It followed up the tweet by sharing the experiences of staff members who had joined the company from the aviation industry, encouraging others to apply for roles.

The company then shared a plea for work from a former Thomas Cook employee who is now without a job.

Rival airline Virgin Atlantic has opened a "specific recruitment path to support any Thomas Cook Cabin Crew" who have found themselves without roles.

Richard Branson's airline said the scheme is open for "Thomas Cook Cabin Crew or Thomas Cook employees with previous flying experience only," adding it is "an expression of interest in future opportunities" starting in 2020.

Richard Branson's airline has opened a scheme for Thomas Cook employees. Credit: Virgin Atlantic

A Facebook page, set up to support staff near the company's Peterborough HQ, has been sharing roles and offers of support for the staff who have found themselves without work.

The page includes offers of work, as well as free martial arts classes and a trip to a bingo hall to help former colleagues cope with stress.

The show of solidarity was joined by TUI.

The travel company, which had already pledged to bring home Britons stranded overseas, tweeted: "We will be holding a recruitment fair at our Luton Office for people who are impacted."

Government pledge to support unemployed staff in finding new roles

Business Minister Andrea Leadsom said she would be assembling a government-led taskforce to support staff at Thomas Cook who had lost their jobs.

She said this would include helping people with CV writing, applications for new jobs, and retraining.

Mrs Leadsom added: "We will of course be doing everything we can to help those who have lost their jobs as a result of this.

"I am convening a Government-led taskforce with colleagues from across different Whitehall departments."