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College jobs at risk as part of estate review

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MORE than 50 jobs look set to go at Warrington & Vale Royal College’s Hartford campus as part of an estate review to ensure the Winwick Road campus will continue to thrive.

Around 56 full time equivalents (FTE) out of 390 FTE are at risk but wherever possible, volunteers for redundancy from the affected employees will be sought to mitigate the need for compulsory redundancies

The College has announced today (Friday) that it is set to re-shape the college estate and operational aspects of the organisation.

The Winwick Road campus in Warrington is the largest in the college’s estate portfolio and will continue to thrive, with the campus “absolutely central” to the college strategy for growth.

A College spokesperson said: “Since the merger between Warrington Collegiate and Mid Cheshire College last August, the college has been committed to improving the learning experience for students across all its campuses whilst carefully monitoring current and prospective student recruitment, and changes to income and costs. Whilst significant work has been undertaken to market the curriculum, the college’s income is set to reduce and a review of the college’s estate has shown that the Hartford campus is seriously under-utilised.

“Guided by the principles of best value for money and an enhanced learning experience, the Board of Corporation at the college has resolved to de-commission the majority of the Hartford campus from September 2018, preserving priority provision in engineering and advanced manufacturing. Displaced curriculum currently based at Hartford will be re-located to our state of the art campuses in Winsford – in the vast majority of cases – or Warrington, which will continue to be our key site.

The spokesperson added: “As stated in our original merger proposal, we committed to the consolidation of our estate and in-parallel, curriculum specialisation to match the Local Enterprise Partnership’s strategic economic priorities and raise skill levels in response to the government’s Industrial Strategy. This, in turn, will facilitate investment in specialist, ‘best in class’ facilities and resources to meet and exceed industry standards and provide the best possible learning experience. This is part of our strategy to re-shape the Vale Royal aspect of the college’s operation and estate, with a focus on Winsford”.

“In keeping with the aims of the area based review, we will ensure that Warrington & Vale Royal College is financially sustainable and readily able to respond to any challenges ahead, meeting economic and skills priorities and the needs of the communities we serve, both now and in the future. Above all we aim to provide an excellent learning experience and a breadth of provision across the college estate, providing a range of clear progression routes at all levels, from Entry upwards, into positive destinations, higher level study and/or fulfilling careers”.

“We have commenced a consultation with staff and trade unions about these proposals to achieve a strong and sustainable future for the college and to ensure that staffing levels are appropriate. 56 full time equivalents (FTE) out of 390 FTE are at risk but wherever possible, volunteers for redundancy from the affected employees will be sought to mitigate the need for compulsory redundancies”.

“There is an open evening at the Winsford Campus on Tuesday 20th March, 5.30 PM – 8.00 PM. I would urge prospective students and parents to come along to this event, meet staff, take a look around our fantastic facilities and find out more about our vision for Warrington & Vale Royal College.

”We are writing to all our learners, parents, applicants and stakeholders to inform them of the changes and are holding information evenings over the next few weeks.”

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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