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90 jobs could go at Gloucestershire College due to funding cuts

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 04, 2014

Matthew Burgess, College Principal

Comments (9)

Up to 90 jobs at Gloucestershire College could go as a result of funding cuts to further education.

The college employs 1200 staff across four sites in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and the Forest of Dean.

Bosses there have said job losses will be ‘unavoidable’ as part of an enforced operational restructuring due to a 20 per cent drop in funding.

Demographic changes in the region and increased competition are impacting on the college’s income streams.

Management there has said a consultation is under way with staff to ensure the long term future of the college is secure.

Matthew Burgess, College Principal and Chief Executive said; “Our talented staff are central to the long term success of Gloucestershire College and it is with regret that we are making this announcement.

“Every effort has been made to improve efficiencies, to reduce our cost base and to develop new income streams at the College over the past 12 months, however the magnitude of the cuts facing the further education sector has unfortunately led us to this point.”

“Funding cuts to the further education sector, and indeed the entire public sector, have been well publicised in recent years and we are not alone in making this kind of announcement.

“It my priority to ensure that we continue to provide an excellent offer to our students, to the employers that we work with and to our partners, in order to secure the long term future of Gloucestershire College.

“The future success of our students and supporting employers in Gloucestershire remains at the heart of what we do, and these measures are being taken in order to ensure we meet the needs of the local community and economy, both now and in the future.”

Over the past year, the college has responded to the continuing cuts by reducing the size of its estate, freezing vacant posts, reviewing procurement policies and by making non-pay savings.

As part of the efficiency drive, space leased at the North Cheltenham Campus in Kingsditch has been reduced, whilst the proposed new campus in the Forest of Dean would reduce the college’s total estate in the area by half.

Streamlining measures are expected to save £650,000 a year by 2015/16.

Despite the savings, staff face an uncertain future.

One college worker, who declined to be named, said they had been left in the dark over the job cuts.

“We all heard rumours about it, but did not think it would happen,” she said.

“Most of my colleagues and I have been really worried about this, and it would have been better if we had more notice.

“It’s a great college to work for, but I can only wish now I’m not one of those losing my job. I have my fingers crossed.”

Senior managers and union representatives have met to begin a consultation process, opening discussions which will explore options to reduce any job losses.

The consultation period started on Monday, March 24 and will last for at least 45 days.

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  • JemmyWood  |  April 05 2014, 6:47PM

    So the Torys want to increase education and training to get people into work, yet cuts funding to college providing that training.... It was is they don't want a better educated workforce.... I'd love to hear Dick Graham's take on this, but as it's bad news, he'll be hiding in his cosy Cotswold village out of the way. Personally, I think this is shocking and will damage the county and the country in the long term.

  • MikeMorrisOBE  |  April 05 2014, 2:39PM

    No quote from our MP then. Come on Richard, claim the credit, like you usually do.

  • GlosAnarchy  |  April 05 2014, 1:12PM

    "Education safe in our hands!" vote Tory!

    |   -27
  • uk_socrates  |  April 04 2014, 9:59PM

    @Tree1974. You don't need to go back to college!. Just download Google Chrome. The browser has a built in spell check. #Technology.

  • uk_socrates  |  April 04 2014, 9:55PM

    Wow -9. Would people rather have cheaper shorter educational courses that use modern technology to bring down costs? Or would people rather stick to the traditional out-dated model of teaching that supports non-jobs? Job cuts are sad, but frankly technology is now at a point where it has the potential to free lots of people from rather robotic tasks. Also in a world where everything is now knowable within a few clicks, maybe this out-dated fetish of testing a human's ability to retain knowledge should be scrapped in the first place?

  • Tree1974  |  April 04 2014, 7:38PM

    Looking at the quality of spelling and missing letters in my last comment, I think I need to go back to college! :-)

  • Tree1974  |  April 04 2014, 7:36PM

    Sadly the length of the courses and the number of guided learning hours are dictated by examining bodies such as Edecel not the college. I think it will become clear that the majority of posts will be support staff and when they say 90 posts it is likely to be full time posts so there will probibily be more than 90 people out of when you take art timers into consideration. Extreemly sad for all involved, my heart really goes out to them.

  • uk_socrates  |  April 04 2014, 3:01PM

    Who gave me a negative? Argue your case! This is an open forum....

  • uk_socrates  |  April 04 2014, 1:04PM

    Job cuts are always sad, but I am pretty certain other ex-students will agree with me, a lot of 2 year courses could be shrunk down into 1 year courses. Also more lectures/power point presentations could be uploaded to youtube/or a youtube type service on the Gloucestershire College Website.