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UCU vows to fight closure of Goole College

21 January 2021 | last updated: 25 January 2021

UCU vowed to fight the proposed closure of Goole College at the end of this academic year.

The union said the closure of the college, which is run by Hull College Group, would be a 'hammer blow' for the town, leaving 22 staff and 170 students in the lurch. In an interview with FE Week, Hull College Group interim chief executive Lowell Williams refused to rule out redundancies and said that students would have to continue their studies with other local providers.

UCU said proposals to close Goole College flew in the face of the government's further education white paper released today. The union said Goole is exactly the sort of town that the government should be investing in. It has a large and growing industrial site, which the government says will be the home of a new £200 million Siemens rail manufacturing factory by 2023, employing 700 people once completed, as well as providing 750 jobs during its construction, and supporting 1,700 roles in the supply chain.

The college currently provides a range of subjects including mechanical engineering and welding courses, but these would end at Goole, and the campus would be mothballed, were the site to close.

The union added that many of the students are vulnerable and relied on the college to meet their needs, but there had been no public consultation about the closure and, it would appear, no attempt to find another provider to take it over.

UCU regional official Julie Kelley said: 'It is very disappointing to hear that Hull College Group intend to shut Goole College at the end of the academic year and that decisions have been made behind closed doors. This would be a hammer blow for the area, leaving 22 staff and 170 students in the lurch and the local community without a further education provider.

'It is shocking that the government would sign off the closure of the college whilst also announcing reforms in further education. If the government is serious about levelling up the nation's skills and building back better then it must halt plans to close the college. The campus needs investment and it should be used to train and prepare local people for the high-skilled jobs and opportunities that will be created in the town and the local area. It is short sighted and a complete waste to mothball the site instead. UCU will challenge this plan and campaign to protect Goole College, our members' jobs, and the needs of current and future students.'

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