Tyne & Wear

Newcastle College's plans to cut jobs criticised

Newcastle College's plans to cut 171 jobs have been strongly criticised by a teaching union.

The University and College Union said senior management at the college had "jumped the gun" and were using funding issues as an "excuse to make cuts".

The college has confirmed it is likely the posts will be made redundant.

Newcastle College's chief executive Dame Jackie Fisher said: "We are very disappointed by the planned reductions to education funding."

She added: "We are doing everything we can to safeguard courses and jobs for our many staff who work very hard to give our learners and customers valuable qualifications and employment."

Of the 171 posts under discussion - about 10% of the workforce - 124 are involved in front-line teaching.

In a statement the UCU, which represents teachers and lecturers at the college, said the plans would have a "devastating effect" on the local economy.

Its regional official, Iain Owens, said: "Workers in the North East are losing their jobs daily. Now Newcastle College has decided to make redundant the very people whose job it is to retrain the unemployed and help rebuild the economy."

Dame Jackie said: "We... will be working to support the individuals involved.

"We will explore redeployment opportunities wherever possible."

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