Up to 75 jobs set to go at Sheffield College

Sheffield College
Sheffield College
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Up top 75 jobs could be axed at the Sheffield College – which is battling a £4m funding cut over two years.

The college will also launch new courses to generate extra income and have to make other savings.

It aims to become ‘less reliant on Government funding and much more self-sufficient’.

Chief executive Heather MacDonald said it was understood elements of the strategy may cause concern. “However, we are confident that we can navigate these challenging times if we adapt, change some of what we offer, and do things differently”.

Strategic priorities were being reviewed to ensure the College ‘is in the best position to respond to the changing educational and skills agenda’.

Ms MacDonald said: “Nationally, there is a significant shift in the way that the further education sector needs to operate so that it becomes less reliant on Government funding and much more self-sufficient.”

She added: “We are consulting with our staff and the trade unions on how we can build on our strengths to benefit the skills needs of the city and simultaneously save costs, and generate additional income and reserves.

“This approach will enable us to invest in new expertise, and our staff and facilities to ensure we are fit for the future.”

Consultations have begun on proposals to update the curriculum, including introducing new courses that generate additional income, save costs and build financial reserves ‘that can be reinvested in new expertise and skills’. The review is anticipated to result in ‘some job losses’.

At the same time, the College, the largest training provider in Sheffield, is looking to increase its economic impact on the city from £321m to £400m a year by 2016.

It says it is committed to meeting the skills needs of Sheffield City Region, recently launching the Centre for Business and Enterprise, offering professional courses and qualifications to employers and the business community.

Other areas identified for expansion include apprenticeships, international opportunities and higher education provision.

Major changes are already under way. An £8.8m extension is being built at Hillsborough College for performing arts, media and horticulture, and a £6.8m extension at the Sheffield College Applied Engineering at Olive Grove.

Norton College is closing, with students relocating from September 2015.