Northern Ireland

Belfast Metropolitan College confirms up to 113 jobs 'at risk'

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Media captionUnite union said its members have been told to expect between up to 113 redundancies

Belfast Metropolitan College has said it may have to cut its workforce by more than 100, to cope with a budget reduction by the assembly.

Earlier, the Unite union said its members who work at Belfast Metropolitan College have been told to expect between 83 and 113 redundancies.

The college has said that number of positions are at risk.

It said that equated to a budget reduction of £2.6m for 2015/16.

"We have been regularly and proactively updating staff and trade unions on the challenging but nonetheless unavoidable implications of the public sector budget cuts," the college said.

"Initial modelling would indicate that a £2.6m budget cut equates to a reduction of between 83 and 113 full-time equivalent staff. Detailed work is ongoing and we cannot as yet provide final numbers.

"We will be contacting staff over the next few weeks to gauge the level of interest in a voluntary exit scheme and will, of course, continue to work alongside the trade unions and keep staff updated as and when more information becomes available."

Earlier, Unite said there were "very real fears that this scale of job losses will undermine the quality of educational provision at the college".

"This is only the latest in a series of brutal blows to our education sector," it said.

"Over the last few weeks, not a day has gone by without our union receiving notice of potential redundancies from some school or other."

Belfast Met has 34,000 students - almost a quarter of all Northern Ireland's college enrolments.

It also accounts for almost a quarter of the total college spending.

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