Jobs set to go in South Tyneside College shake-up

South Tyneside College
South Tyneside College

Jobs are set to go as part of a shake-up of college services in South Tyneside.

Tyne Coast College - made up of South Tyneside College, TyneMet College, North Tyneside: South Shields Marine School and the Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College in North Shields - has confirmed it will be shedding 13 lecturing and support staff jobs.

A spokeswoman for the college said the job losses come as the college evaluates its curriculum with the aim of delivering the best learning and employment opportunities for students.

The college says it has received requests for voluntary redundancies, which will mitigate the numbers of statutory job losses.

The college began consultation with the trade unions – GMB, UCU and UNISON – at the end of May.

Jon Bryan, UCU Regional Support Official, said: “The college outlined that funding to FE colleges was seeing a reduction of around £1 million, which was resulting in changes affecting staff.

“Following last year’s merger of South Tyneside with Tyne Met College, staff were hopeful of a period of stability, rather than having to face the summer with uncertainty.

“We hope that the college maximises the number of volunteers as many staff are committed to the college and wish to be part of its future.”

“Our members are continuing to bear the brunt of those cuts and an annual cull on jobs. All trade unions at the college are doing what they can to resist compulsory job losses.”

A Tyne Coast College spokeswoman said: “To deliver the best possible learning and employment opportunities for students, we regularly evaluate our curriculum offer.

“This is crucial in maintaining the optimum balance between curriculum demand, our staffing needs and the constant pressure of ongoing cuts.

“Our curriculum plan for 2018/19 has now been finalised and, due to changes in demand and funding priorities, the college has restructured its curriculum and a number of support areas which will result in a reduction of staff numbers.

“We have removed a number of vacant posts from the business support structures and a minimal number of vacant posts from the curriculum structure, in order to reduce costs and minimise the need for redundancies.

“We have also received a number of requests for voluntary redundancies and expect that this too will mitigate the numbers of statutory redundancies, which currently stands at a maximum of 13.”

The college has 565 staff across its sites.

The spokeswoman added: “We are currently in a 30 day consultation process, and will continue to work closely with the relevant unions, as part of steps aimed at safeguarding jobs and guaranteeing the high quality of our provision.”