Jobs axe to fall at Otley College

EIGHTEEN jobs are being axed at Otley College following a decision to close three highly-successful IT centres, it was revealed today.The college is having to make the closures because of national funding cuts for adult learning projects.

EIGHTEEN jobs are being axed at Otley College following a decision to close three highly-successful IT centres, it was revealed today.

The college is having to make the closures because of national funding cuts for adult learning projects.

Around 7,000 learners aged 19 and over have used the outreach computer learning centres at Felixstowe, Ipswich and Beccles since they opened.

Otley College principal Philip Winfield said: “This situation is regrettable and something that we take extremely seriously.

“We have been campaigning to increase 19-plus funding for adult learning with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), who have been very supportive locally, the Association of Colleges and our MP for over 18 months.

“However current government objectives have prioritised 14 to 19 learning, basic skills and adults without a level 2 qualification, and what is happening at Otley in relation to IT learning is not just a situation that effects colleges in East Anglia, it will have an impact on all colleges throughout the country.”

Most Read

Mr Winfield said 18 jobs would be lost.

“It is never easy when you have to make changes, especially as we value our staff so highly, and whilst it saddens us to close these centres, I would like to personally assure all those staff who are affected by this, that we will do all we can to help them by offering as much support, advice and guidance as we possibly can,” he said.

“It is regrettable that we can no longer fund this IT provision after June 23, but we are hopeful that those students who have benefited from these courses have been able to further their lives through the skills that they have learnt.”

LSC executive director Nick Foster said its priorities for investment were to enable more 14-19 year olds to stay in education or training and improve their results; increase the number of young people and adults with a Level 2 qualification; and increase adults' literacy and numeracy skills.

“Over the next two years the focus for our adult funding will therefore be longer, qualification-based courses that improve employability, rather than short courses which do not ultimately lead to a qualification,” he said.

“This means that colleges will withdraw certain courses which do not lead to qualifications or lead to qualifications but not in the LSC priority areas.”

Will you be affected? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter