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Anger at job loss plans for Knowsley and St Helens colleges

27 March 2019 | last updated: 29 July 2019

UCU has reacted angrily to news of plans to axe 65 staff at SK College Group. The proposed job losses come just a year after 85 posts went at the college's sites in Knowsley and St Helens.

SK College Group was created in December 2017 following a merger between St Helens College and Knowsley Community College that was supposed to bring stability. The latest round of cuts also includes plans to close the 14-16 Academy in St Helens.

The union said a second round of job cuts less than 18 months after the merger represented a failure of college management and posed a serious threat to educational opportunities in the region. The cuts are creating uncertainty for students and staff as the college has not given any details on the areas in which it is looking to make cutbacks.

At the time of the merger SK College Group said it would ensure the colleges can "continue to deliver a broad and diverse, high quality, relevant curriculum and qualifications".  UCU said its members are due to meet WHEN to discuss their response to the news.

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: 'Less than 18 months on from a merger the college said would bring stability it has announced a second round of job losses. Cuts of this magnitude would have a serious impact on the college's ability to deliver educational opportunities for students in the region.

'Government cuts to further education are a disgrace, especially at a time when we should be investing in the skills the country needs, but that doesn't excuse knee-jerk cuts from colleges. The uncertainty hanging over staff and students is incredibly worrying and we will be fighting against compulsory job losses and increases in workloads.'

 

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