Northamptonshire college looks to cut almost 100 jobs

Tresham College, Wellingborough
Tresham College, Wellingborough

Tresham College has announced a series of major cutbacks that has left 93 staff members facing possible redundancy.

Principal Stuart Wesselby said the reduction in services available to students follows a recent cut in funding of £2.2m.

It has also been announced that the Wellingborough campus, in Church Street, will be reducing the range of courses available to just two – engineering and motor vehicle programmes.

Prospective students who have already signed up to other courses next year, including art, care and early years, computing, construction, hairdressing and beauty therapy, have been offered free transport to study at Tresham’s other campuses in Kettering and Corby.

Mr Wesselby said: “The decision to put 93 staff at risk of redundancy has not been taken lightly and is designed to have minimal impact on our students.

“From September 2015 Tresham, as with other further education colleges across the country, has been expected to absorb yet another significant cut in funding.

“While every effort has been made to minimise the impact of this reduction to staff, at more than £5m over the past five years and the most recent cut of £2.2m it is my priority to safeguard the future of the college for our students and have had no choice but to review the structure across the college to ensure all departments are working as efficiently as possible.

“It is with great regret that decisions like this have to be made following circumstances beyond the control of the college and the further education sector as a whole.”

However, the college has confirmed that the £16m Wellingborough campus redevelopment project, which began last year and is due to open in September 2017 with facilities for 1,000 students, is still going ahead.

Mr Wesselby added: “We are committed to maintaining our promise for a new campus in Wellingborough.

“Following recent internal audits and inspections the decision to reduce the provision of courses to the ones with the largest cohort of applicants until September 2017 will ensure that we are also able to uphold our promise of a quality learning experience for every one of our students in a safe and inspiring environment.”

A spokesman for the college said: “As part of the restructuring proposal, the college now enters consultation with 93 staff over the planned organisational change which will see a revised business support structure and reviewed curriculum offer at specific campuses including Wellingborough in preparation for the new building due to open in September 2017.”

They added that a 30-day consultation period has begun with those staff facing possible job losses and the college would look to “seek alternative roles” for those affected.