Jobs under threat at Hackney Community College after government slashes funding

Industrial action is looming over Hackney Community College after the government has made the most swingeing cuts to its budget in 20 years.

Plans to axe 55 jobs at the college where 70,000 Olympic Games makers are currently being trained could spark strike action.

Hackney Community College, Falkirk Street, is proposing the job losses as part of �2million of budget cuts after the government slashed further education funding.

The college is the training venue to prepare Olympic volunteers – known as Games makers.

Unions have blasted the plan for job redundancies when youth unemployment is at an all-time high.

Some courses which help long-term unemployed gain skills to find a job are among those under threat.

The college is currently consulting with trades unions and staff over the proposals.

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A public meeting has been arranged for Wednesday, May 16, in Arden Community Hall, Hoxton Street, from 6pm and a protest march by students and staff will be held on Saturday, May 26, leaving from the college at noon.

“With youth unemployment at an all time high and total joblessness in Hackney at over 7 per cent, there is a desperate need for a stable and thriving college in the borough,” said Rose Veitch, vice chairman of HCC University and College Union (UCU) trade union branch.

“These plans will cut off educational opportunities in a borough where last year’s riots demonstrated the desperate need to invest in tackling deprivation and social exclusion,” she added.

Teachers are asking why no senior management cuts have been proposed,

A college spokeswoman said the college had removed a whole layer of management last year: “This year the scale of the change of the college’s business structure is so significant that governors have asked that the senior management capacity is retained to implement the changes, particularly the new income arrangements,” she added.

Principal Ian Ashman said: “As a team, we have demonstrated considerable resilience and an ability to work together to survive the challenges these cuts bring, to minimise redundancies and to continue to improve the service to our students.”