City College Norwich forced to make �2.85m of cuts

Major funding cuts for the next academic year have left City College Norwich needing to find �2.85m in savings – but bosses say they will keep job losses to a minimum.

In total the Ipswich Road site is set to make 53 redundancies but will create 32 posts as part of its re-organisation meaning a net loss of 21 posts.

Principal Dick Palmer said: 'City College Norwich, in common with all colleges, faces an extremely challenging environment. The current climate means we have had to adapt and find innovative ways to ensure that we continue to provide high-quality further and high education for your people, adults, and employers in Norfolk.

'Faced with a budget reduction of �2.85m next year, we have also done all we can to keep the number of redundancies that will regrettably have to be made to an absolute minimum.'

The savings amount to about 7pc of the college's total revenue budget.

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Changes to the way 16-19 education is funded and the impact of the move to make students foot the bill for higher education have both contributed to the need for many colleges across the country to make tough decisions about their budgets.

A reduction in the number of 16-year-olds in Norfolk – therefore reducing the amount of per-pupil funding the college receives – has also taken its toll.

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A 30-day consultation with all 994 members of college staff and unions has today (Monday) been launched.

The cuts are the latest to be announced by City College as part of a three-year squeeze on central government funding.

The college said it had had to save almost �6m in total over the three years from 2010 to 2013.

The 53 redundancies will be made up of 12 teaching staff and 41 support staff and managers. But the college said, as well as the simultaneous creation of 32 new posts to take the overall job losses down to 21, 'further opportunities for redeployment' had also been created because of a freeze on new recruitment in recent weeks.

Further job losses have been prevented thanks to efforts by the college to increase its income in some areas – including its work with employers to create more apprenticeship opportunities for learners.

Mr Palmer said a 'strategy to ensure the long term sustainability of the college' was now in place.

He added: 'We are now seeing the benefits of cost-saving measures that have been implemented during the last two years. We will continue to do all that we can to provide the best possible education, support, and facilities for our students with the resources that are available to us.'

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