The travel industry has rallied to support the 1,700 XL Leisure Group employees who have lost their jobs as the threat of a trade recruitment crisis looms large.
A Facebook group named ‘RIP XL Leisure Group’ was set up on the Thursday XL folded and has already attracted more than 800 members.
Former XL employees have joined the group to express shock at the collapse, while travel agencies, airlines and recruitment agencies have offered help finding new jobs.
The support network is a positive move in a climate of increasing job instability in the industry, as British Airways seeks 1,400 voluntary redundancies and up to 418 job lossesare likely as a result of Thomas Cook’s call centre closures in Accrington and Glasgow.
Monarch Airlines managing director Tim Jeans expressed sympathy with the 1,700 who have lost jobs, but said: “I cannot see them finding jobs in travel. The situation is pretty bleak. Aviation is contracting.”
Gail Kenny Executive Search owner Gail Kenny said: “If you’re in aviation it is not a great place to be, unless you are in the online distribution sector.”
Kenny said many travel staff could applytheir skills to other sectors including the leisure, hospitality and transportation industries. She added thatthose wanting to stay in the industry should focus on the online, luxury and niche sectors. Interim placements will provide opportunities for senior management staff, she said.
C&M Recruitment managing director Angus Chisholm saidthe recruitment market is tougher thansix months ago,but remains “robust”, particularly in the leisure sector. He said jobhunters are acknowledging the changing market, adding: “Candidates are being less bullish about salaries, people are doing their homework and double checking everything before they make a move.
“It is not a positive marketplace for the industry when there aremore good candidates than there are jobs.”