Thomas Cook employees at the company’s Poole office have been saved from unemployment by a UK travel agency.

Not Just Travel has offered jobs to all six members of staff after the firm collapsed last week.

New recruit Paula Barker has already started training with the company, with more due to start in the next few weeks.

She said: “The shock was huge when Thomas Cook collapsed. Having been at Thomas Cook for 22 years, as a staff team we were immersed in the Thomas Cook values and culture, one being ‘customer at heart’, so you couldn’t help but feel you had let them down… It’s been a grieving process as overnight I lost my job, income, colleagues and friends.

“The offer of employment from Not Just Travel has been a gift. With bills and a mortgage to pay, not having work on the horizon would be nerve wracking. I’m currently in training and learning new processes and the team here are so welcoming.”

Not Just Travel already has more than 750 travel consultants in its ranks.

Steve Witt, co-founder of Not Just Travel, said: “The travel industry is like one big family and so when there’s a big issue we all work together to support each other.

“Thomas Cook staff are renowned for being hard-working and well-trained, so it’s a pleasure to be able to offer any local Thomas Cook staff employment where we can at our head office.

“As well as jobs, we are also breaking the mould by offering ex-Thomas Cook staff the chance to have their travel business for no cost.

“If they want to start up their own home-working travel agency we’re going to cover all the start-up costs wherever possible, and provide free training, so that they can get started immediately.”