College’s redundancy warning

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JOB losses are looming at a cash-strapped South Yorkshire college - although administrators are hoping the total will be fewer than the 70 first predicted.

Rotherham College of Arts and Technology is battling to cope with a £2.5 million deficit for the next financial year, with income for the period set to be cut to £21.5 million.

It is the largest college in the borough with campuses in the town centre, currently being rebuilt, and at Dinnington.

Managers say the funding shortfall will be tackled by reducing staffing costs and cutting other operating expenditure.

A reorganisation of the academic staffing structure has already been confirmed and the college is reviewing its non-academic provision.

Principal Gill Alton said the changes were intended to deal with current problems and provide a sound foundation for the future.

She said: “We have had to make many difficult decisions and this includes having to make a number of staff redundant. It is not possible to achieve the full extent of the budget reduction required by making efficiency savings alone.

“I am acutely aware of the impact that this will have on those staff affected and we will be providing as much support as possible to those who are facing redundancy.

“We are going to lose staff who have shown themselves to be dedicated and committed and we fully recognise the need for sensitivity in a time when difficult but essential decisions have been taken.”

Miss Alton added: “The college will continue to offer a full range of full and part time courses and will remain the largest provider of further education in Rotherham.

“We are proud of our reputation in the community and determined to ensure that we make a positive contribution to the local economy through the provision of learning and skills that offer people opportunities for success.”