Belfast Metropolitan College accepts job cuts plan

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A plan for widespread redundancies at Belfast Metropolitan College has been unanimously backed by the college's governing body.

It is thought that around 120 full-time and 93 part-time jobs will be lost.

Unions say the scale of the cuts is unnecessary.

The college management said they hoped many redundancies would be voluntary and said other measures such as flexible working, career breaks and reduced hours would be used.

Staff and unions protested about the job cuts at the college's campus in west Belfast on Monday.

Unions have claimed that if agency staff were included, the total number of staff losing their jobs will be much higher.

Marie-Therese McGivern, director and chief executive of the college, said: "We are disappointed at the recent breakdown in communications with the recognised trade unions, but we remain committed to continuing positive dialogue with the staff affected during the restructuring process.

"To this end, we will continue to consult on a one to one basis with staff."

She added: "It is regrettable that these reductions are necessary but they are essential to secure the college's future sustainability and development."

The college currently employs more than 1,000 staff.