Union says it is short-sighted to cut funding for English courses

UCUThe UCU has vowed to fight alongside bosses to save jobs at Bradford College.

The college told staff the job losses are in response to the loss of its £700,000 budget to run English courses for foreign language speakers who are looking for work though Jobcentre Plus. The funding cut was made by the government’s Skills Funding Agency, and took place with immediate effect in July.

UCU has vowed to work with the college to avoid any compulsory job losses by redeploying staff across its portfolio of other English courses. It has criticised the funding cut as ‘appalling and desperately short-sighted’, especially in light of the European refugee crisis, which has just seen the first Syrian refugees arrive in Britain.

Although the college proposals are for nine full-time teaching jobs to be lost the actual numbers of people affected will be larger as many of the staff work part-time.

UCU regional official Julie Kelley said: “It is appalling and desperately short-sighted to cut the funding for English courses at the best of times, but particularly so when there is a refugee crisis in Europe which has just seen the first Syrian refugees arrive in Britain.

“It doesn’t make sense for the college to lose qualified staff who teach vital language and life skills that improve their chances of finding work, and settling into the community.

“UCU is committed to opposing all compulsory redundancies and we’ll seek to work with the college to redeploy staff across its portfolio of other English courses so that jobs are not lost.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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