Fears 50 college jobs could be lost

Great Yarmouth College has warned that a funding reduction for the next academic year could mean up to 50 full-time posts being made redundant - about one eighth of its workforce.

Great Yarmouth College has warned that a funding reduction for the next academic year could mean up to 50 full-time posts being made redundant - about one eighth of its workforce.

Staff were called to a meeting yesterday afternoon to be told by principal Robin Parkinson that the Suffolk Road college was facing a budget gap of about �1m.

It follows a government announce-ment earlier this year that colleges would have to cope with a �200m cut in funding for adult courses.

After the meeting, Mr Parkinson said: “We are in the same situation as colleges up and down the country in that we are having to face up to some difficult decisions.

“The reality is that funding is going to be significantly reduced for some areas of our work and consequently we must reduce our costs in order to balance the books.

“Inevitably, as staff costs are our biggest outlay we have to consider the possibility, however unpalatable, of some redundancies.”

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He said the worst-case scenario was that 50 full-time posts could be at risk across all areas of the college and at all levels.

However, he said: “We are looking at all options to reduce costs and hope that we can mitigate against any potential need for redundancies. I would stress that no firm decisions have been made and we will be going through a period of consultation with staff and unions.

“I realise that this is a very unsettling time for college staff, but we are not immune to funding pressures and can't bury our heads in the sand.”

College spokesman Mark Bayley said: “Our aim is to offer as wide a range of courses as possible but it may be that some are affected.

“It is premature to say which ones might be hit but we are reassuring students they will be able to complete all the courses they are on.”

The consultation period to determine what redundancies will be made will last 30 days. It is hoped to mitigate the impact through voluntary redundancies.