MORE than 1,000 former Thomas Cook and supply chain employees attended a jobs fair at Manchester Airport on Thursday.

Following the announcement on September 23 that the company had entered compulsory liquidation, public and private partners worked together to host the event which provided advice and information for former staff.

More than 40 employers with more than 6,000 vacancies in a range of sectors were on hand to speak to potential candidates about their career options and next steps.

Jobcentre Plus, Citizens Advice, the Insolvency Service, Unite the Union and other support services were also able to help people in need of financial support and information relating to redundancy.

Of feedback received on the day, 96 per cent of attendees said they had benefitted from the event, with many taking time to comment that they really appreciated the support and effort that had been put into such the event and helping them progress their careers.

Mark Hughes, chief executive of the Growth Company and chairman of the GM Taskforce established in the wake of the announcement about Thomas Cook, said: “This has been a really challenging time for all those affected by the demise of Thomas Cook.

“I’m pleased that so many employers and former staff were able to attend the employment fair and that, with the support of our public and private sector partners, we were able to deliver the event so quickly and reach as many people as possible.

“I know there are many more employers keen to meet Thomas Cook staff and support them in their next steps.

“With this in mind, we will be looking to host similar events in the near future so we can continue to provide relevant, targeted support when and where it is most needed.”

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: “The whole airport community was saddened by the news of Thomas Cook’s collapse, which is why we reached out across the airport site and worked closely with the task force to arrange a jobs fair.

“It was therefore pleasing to see such a strong turnout at last week’s event, from businesses, former Thomas Cook staff and its suppliers.

“The event was the first of many in which we will be playing our part to help the staff impacted by the airline’s collapse.

“Working closely with the taskforce we will be arranging further employment events, plus our onsite Airport Academy will have dedicated sessions with CV workshops and interview masterclasses.

“I hope delegates at the fair were successful and look forward to welcoming them back into the airport community alongside the 25,000 others based on site.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “The sudden collapse of Thomas Cook left more than 3,000 North West-based former employees suddenly searching for a job.

“It was incredibly sad news for everyone involved and the Greater Manchester family has been quick to rally round with messages of sympathy and offers of practical support.

“A task force was created within 24 hours and a website and helpline set up, and we promised to help in any way we could.

“The jobs fair at Manchester Airport was a real success, and I want to praise the joined-up efforts of Manchester Airports Group, the Growth Company, Transport for Greater Manchester, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and others – together we’re working to make a real difference.

“But there is so much more still to do and I reiterate our support for those affected, both former Thomas Cook staff and all the people impacted along the supply chain. Greater Manchester will do right by you.”