Mersey Jobcentre Plus ringfences vacancies for ex-Thomas Cook staff

There were 366 people in the Liverpool city region who lost their jobs when Thomas Cook collapsed and 243 have so far contacted Jobcentre Plus for help. Tony McDonough reports

Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook collapsed on September 23 leading to significant job losses


More than 240 former employees of collapsed travel giant Thomas Cook in the Liverpool city region have contacted Jobcentre Plus for help in finding another job, new figures reveal.

And Jobcentre Plus in the city region, and across the UK, is offering priority interviews and ring-fencing a number of vacancies for the Thomas Cooks workers who lost their jobs when the company went into liquidation on September 23.

Local spokesperson for Jobcentre Plus, Gemma Batchelor, told LBN that as soon as the company collapse its Rapid Response Service team was immediately put on standby to offer assistance.

“We believe that across the city region there were 366 people affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook and so far 243 of those people have contacted Job Centre Plus to ask for our help,” she said.

Training advice

The Jobcentre Plus team can offer assistance with benefit and training advice, CV writing, and interview and application form assistance. They are also directing them towards current vacancies.

A number of people have already found new work with Hays Travel, a high street agency chain which has taken over a number of former Thomas Cook retail outlets and other companies, such as Merseyside-based retailer Home Bargains, is also keen to offer opportunities to those seeking work.

“We are aware of a number of good news stories where ex-Thomas Cook employees have already found work for employers such as Hays Travel and Crown Plaza and more that are working through the recruitment process with other airlines,” added Gemma.

New figures

Latest figure from the Office for National Statistics reveal the number of people unemployed across the North West from July to September 2019 was 148,000 – down 2,000 on the previous three months and down 7,000 on the year.

Gemma said the latest claimant count figures show a “slight” increase in the number of claimants in Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton and St Helens and a fall in claimants in Halton and Knowsley.

This is consistent with the design of Universal Credit, which brings additional people into searching for work conditionality to help encourage and support claimants into work,” she said. “However, if you look back at five years ago there has been a significant decrease in the number of claimants.”

Success stories

She also reported that a number of people secured new jobs following recent job fairs  in Liverpool city centre and in Speke. At the city centre event coffee shop chain Caffe Nero have recruited 21 new members of staff, including two new assistant, managers and say they are “beyond delighted” with the result.

In Speke, Currys/PC World has taken on 13 new member of staff, 10 of whom were from the jobs fair. Gemma said: “They told us all the interviewees turned up early/on time, looked amazing and were well prepared, They added that never happens when then recruit normally.”

Caffe Nero
A number of people have found jobs with Caffe Nero


Jobcentre Plus is also operating or involved with a number of other initiatives in the city region to help people into work. These include:

  • The Construction Resettlement Pathway – a pilot to support offenders on release from prison with a number of people set to be given the opportunity to take part in construction training.
  • Future Skills Project which sees the  large recruitment team working in partnership with First Ark, Knowsley Council and  Fusion 21 to identify a pipeline of job opportunities. The project will provide a budget of £40,000 between Oct 2019 – March 2020, creating a pot covering 40 people at £1,000 per person.
  • An agreement to put an armed forces lead in each site that could be trained to understand the benefits of joining the reserves and the ‘go to’ person for work coaches in their offices.
  • Boss My Future, a new training programme for young people  put together by Liverpool and hotel operator Signature Living.
  • Taking part in the national drive by the Princes Trust to support a pathway for young people into the healthcare sector.

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.