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.