Jobs threat as college faces crisis

LECTURERS at a Yorkshire further education college have been told that their jobs are at risk, after senior staff revealed that the institution was facing a funding shortfall of almost £2m.

Rotherham College of Arts and Technology, which has campuses in both Rotherham town centre and in the former mining village of Dinnington, revealed yesterday it had not hit targets for student recruitment.

Principal Gill Alton said this had resulted in the college receiving less money than expected, leading to a shortfall of 1.9m on a current college turnover of 24m.

The college was unable to say how many staff were in the firing line, and said it was "currently in discussion" with those affected to "obtain staff input into the options available".

Mrs Alton said: "The college has had years of growth and financial stability and now faces a situation where cuts in staffing and other operating costs must be made.

"This decision has not been taken lightly but it is essential that the college is able to work in the current challenging climate and to a reduced budget.

"I understand the anxiety that redundancy programmes have on staff and we will ensure that we undertake our obligations with appropriate sensitivity and understanding for those who are affected.

"Once final decisions have been made the college will be offering a programme of support for staff.

"It is important for everyone involved that there is effective dialogue and communication.

"We will ensure that there is no unnecessary prolonging of the process as we all recognise how this affects staff and their lives."