College expects 40 ‘net’ job losses to result from cost cutting measures that could affect up to 300 people

Leeds City College expects a total net loss of 40 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs to result from a cost cutting programme that it is feared could affect nearly 300 people.

A college spokesperson told FE Week this afternoon that it had launched a 45 day consultation period yesterday (October 19) on its “funding challenge response programme” aimed at saving £2.83m.

“A total net loss of 40 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs is expected as a result of the programme,” she said.

However, the University and College Union (UCU) said it had been told that the college wanted to axe 218 posts, “which would affect 293 members of staff due to the part-time nature of some roles”.

“The college has told trade unions that it intends to create 179 new posts and expects the total net loss of jobs to be around 40 posts,” a union spokesperson explained.

The college declined to confirm or deny the 293 figure, which would represent around 23 per cent of its 1,300 FTE worksforce.

However, a spokesperson said: “The college is working hard to absorb as much of the reductions as possible from non-pay budgets but regrettably, it is envisaged that there will be some impact on staffing levels.

She added: “The college has also been analysing core business operations following September recruitment and as part of the programme, is refining a small number of curriculum posts where courses have under-recruited.

“To ensure that the college continues to play a significant role in the Leeds City Region and best meet the skills needed, we will continue to protect the quality of its student provision and maintain financial viability.”

She added that the latest round of savings represented phase two of cost-cutting at the college, which received a ‘good’ Ofsted rating in June 2012 and was allocated around £44.6m by the Skills Funding Agency as of May this year.

Phase one [of the savings programme] was completed over the last academic year, she added.

“It [phase one] achieved the expected savings of £8.7 million — staffing levels were reduced by 128 FTEs and 88 per cent of this was achieved by voluntary means,” she said.

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