Redundancies announced at Worcester Technology
College will fall heavily
on lecturing and support staff who provide for the needs of some of the more
disadvantaged students in the college. Worcester College of Technology staff
are shocked at the news that 30 jobs are to be axed in the new academic year.
Andy Fenwick spoke to Bryn Griffiths,
Branch Chair, Worcester
University and Colleges Union.
Bryn told Socialist Appeal that the union
was served with Section 188 redundancy notices on the 27th April
declaring 30 redundancies, but it did not contain any information on who was to
be made redundant. The Principal had communicated more to the local media at
that stage, though it is now understood that full information is now being made
It seems that the redundancies in the
teaching force will fall on the staff that provide additional support to
students with special needs. It is
students who have acquired brain damage or other learning difficulties that
will suffer the brunt of the cuts. There will also be job losses in the Government’s "Train To Gain"
programme, a strange area to cut when the talk is of "upskilling" the country’s
The college will make the job cuts
following grant cuts from the Learning and Skills Council, a quango body that
has already messed up the finances for building of new technical colleges up
and down the country.
As Bryn states "this is the result of the
government taking Technical Colleges out of the control of the Local Authority
and put the funding in to organisation that is outside democratic control. It
is hard to believe a local authority would make cuts that would affect the most
vulnerable students as deeply as these."
As for the local MP Mike Foster, it has
been reported that he has said it is unfortunate, but it is the price of the
recession that has to be paid. That argument falls on deaf ears as far as
Socialist Appeal is concerned. If the government can bail out the overpaid fat
cat bankers to the sum of hundreds of billions of pounds then, Mr Foster, it
can spare £1.5million to support the most disadvantaged students in his
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