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UPDATE: Up to 21 jobs at risk at Weymouth College as 'restructuring' announced
WEYMOUTH College looks set to axe up to 21 full-time posts, the Echo can reveal.
The warning of further cuts comes as the college launches a period of consultation with staff over a proposal to 'restructure' some areas.
Potential redundancies will affect jobs at 'all levels' of the organisation, the college said.
The move is in response to cuts in government funding and the college said it had a duty to ensure that it 'acts responsibly, delivers an outstanding service and balances its budget.'
The announcement comes after a damning review by the Further Education Commissioner which said the college's financial health was 'inadequate'.
The report, which identified 'significant weaknesses' in the college's financial position, stated: “The board and senior leadership team lack the financial expertise necessary to run a college of this size and need additional support to return the college to a position of financial strength.”
This is the latest round of redundancies to hit the college.
Staff numbers at the Cranford Avenue site have been cut several times in recent years from 650 employed staff in 2010. It now employs more than 500 staff.
Cutbacks include changes made to the senior management team in 2011 and more recently, more than a dozen posts were lost in a cost-cutting move last November.
Principal, Liz Myles said: “Against the backdrop of funding cuts, the college has always tried to focus on providing students with the best possible experience. This has resulted in excellent partnerships with employers and outstanding results for students. However, the college must work within its funding constraints and it is regrettable that posts have to be lost.”
She added: “While this process is difficult and upsetting for the staff affected, the college anticipates that a significant number of staff who are currently at risk of redundancy will be redeployed to other student facing roles and that any compulsory redundancies will be kept to a minimum. As always, the college is committed to protecting student-facing jobs.”
The Dorset branch of Unison claims the 21 full time equivalent posts at risk translates to 30 individual jobs and it believes 66 posts are being reviewed as part of the consultation.
A spokesman for Unison said: “The college has already issued a notification to the union saying there would be some redundancies, but the scale of these redundancies seems to be a reaction to the FEC report.
“Unison is involved in the consultation and we are trying to mitigate the redundancies proposed. It's a shame the finances have gotten so bad, and we would like to know how this has happened.”
Weymouth College is currently seeking to appoint a £70,000-a-year Vice Principal of Finance and Business Planning responsible for 'the strategic leadership, management and development of a robust college financial strategy.'