TOP Network Group has launched a talent sharing network with the aim of helping to keep travel industry staff in their jobs.

It hopes to facilitate secondments to other employers with workers to return to their current jobs when activity picks up again through TOP Network Talent Sharing.

While “on loan” to other companies, staff will continue to be paid their existing salary by their temporary employers. The programme is powered by talent sharing platform Spacewalk and is free for individuals and companies to register and join.

Individuals will be matched to secondment opportunities according to their skills and preferences, including flexible and remote working opportunities. The platform is also free for companies looking to bring in talent, with no recruitment fees or role posting charges.

TOP Network was launched in October by industry veterans Gary Orr and Kevin Brett to support the UK travel industry and help colleagues facing redundancy.

Orr said: “With the travel industry facing an unprecedented crisis this new TOP Network initiative is aimed at helping keep our travel industry talent retained in the jobs they love and are skilled in, ready for when the travel market returns.

“The concept is very similar to what happens between football clubs when loaning out players for a season. In the context of our travel industry, a business may have talented employees they do not want to lose, yet they don’t currently have enough work for them.

“People in the travel industry have amazing transferable skills, such as customer service, product management and digital marketing, and they will be in demand temporarily in other sectors. For example, an SEO expert in the travel industry will be able to apply their skills on a secondment in online retail, and then return to their travel industry job when activity picks up again.

“We hope this talent sharing facility will be a win-win for all and really want everyone to rally behind this and invite as many companies as possible to join, inside and outside the travel industry.  It presents huge potential financial savings to companies both loaning out talent and those bringing in talent. We encourage companies from all sectors looking to bring staff in for 1-12 months to use this network. The more companies that post secondment opportunities to the network, the more that the travel industry stands to benefit”.

Lance Stewart, co-founder of Spacewalk, said: “I previously worked in the UK travel industry at Virgin Holidays and one of the highlights was meeting so many passionate travel industry professionals across the industry. I am delighted to now be partnering with TOP Network to offer Spacewalk to benefit the travel industry and its people.”

Register here.