Redundancies at Bradford College as virus takes its toll

Job losses have been confirmed at Bradford College, with the organisation confirming it has begun restructuring consultation processes for both the college and its subsidiary company, Training for Bradford.

The college says it is “deeply saddened” to be in this position but needs to save more than £1.5m, with a report in FE Week warning a total of 107 jobs are to be cut.

According to FE Week, 40 of the 107 losses are from the college’s apprenticeship provider, City Training Services.

The remaining 67 jobs to be lost are mostly in support departments in the college, such as admin, HR, finance, and student services.

Bradford College told The Business Desk: “These proposals have been developed in order to make essential cost savings and create a sustainable financial platform for the future following the Covid-19 outbreak and the Government’s lockdown measures.

“Unfortunately, the college has seen a significant fall in income this year and we have been unable to secure any provider relief funding to support the fall.

“Apprenticeships are particularly hard hit and, like other colleges across the country, we expect a further drop in income for the 20/21 academic year, causing further impact.

“In addition to mitigating the effects of Covid-19, the proposed restructure ensure the college continues to meets it financial obligations to lenders and ensures we do not risk breaching our banking covenants following last year’s financial restructuring.”

Over the course of the next academic year the college will look to close City Training Services and Beacon Recruitment and move those operations into the college.

Its statement adds: “We have identified that we need to save over £1.5m through staff reductions and are consulting with trade unions and employee representatives regarding the proposals.

“Consultation meetings are also being held with staff and we are committed to keeping everyone informed at every stage of the process.

“We are deeply saddened to be in this position, especially after the exceptional efforts by all our staff who went above and beyond expectations to ensure learning continued online and students remained supported.

“However, a restructure is necessary to keep us financially sustainable and allow us to continue to offer educational opportunities for the communities of Bradford and transform students’ lives.

“It is hoped a large number of staffing cuts will be made through voluntary redundancies and that compulsory redundancies are kept to a minimum.

“The proposals also allow for a number of vacancies, for which recruitment was temporarily frozen at the start of the Covid 19 crisis, to be approved for recruitment in the next academic year, minimising the impact on redundancies.”