College says redundancies must be made to tackle predicted £1.9m budget shortfall

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LECTURERS at a South Yorkshire college are facing job cuts as administrators battle to tackle a funding deficit of nearly £2 million.

Rotherham College for Arts and Technology has been squeezed by cuts and a failure to hit its targets for student recruitment.

The college is the largest in the borough and has campuses in the town centre and in Dinnington.

It was expecting a turnover for the next financial year of £24 million, but is now predicting a shortfall of £1.9 million.

Principal Gill Alton said redundancies would be needed to tackle the deficit and discussions were under way.

The number of job cuts had yet to be decided, but the key was to ensure the college remained in a strong position to be able to respond to the learning and skills needs of employers and the people of Rotherham, she said.

“The restructuring process will ensure that the college will be well placed to deal with the current situation and be prepared to respond to future opportunities when they arise.”

Mrs Alton said the college had had years of growth and financial stability and now faced a situation where in order to continue delivering education cuts in staffing and other operating costs must be made.

“This decision has not been taken lightly but it is essential that the college is able to work in the current challenging climate and to a reduced budget.

“We have invited colleagues to identify options and strategies that could contribute to reducing our operating expenses.

“A number of meetings and opportunities have been provided to facilitate this process.

“I understand the anxiety that redundancy programmes have on staff .

“We will ensure that we undertake our obligations with appropriate sensitivity and understanding for those who are affected,” she added.