Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Totton College: 39 employees' jobs at risk after Nacro takeover

Totton College Image copyright Totton College
Image caption Nacro formally merged with Totton College on 1 December

Thirty nine employees at a Hampshire sixth-form college face losing their jobs following its takeover by the crime reduction charity Nacro.

Nacro began running Totton College in December after falling student numbers left it with financial problems.

A restructuring plan would cut 30 full time positions, affecting 39 people. The charity proposes creating 14 new posts under the plan.

Nacro said it would would help create a "centre of vocational excellence".

A statement said following the formal merger at the end of 2015 "it quickly became apparent that changes were needed to secure the college's future financial and educational viability".

The charity insisted it was "fully committed" to the college and the proposals would secure its financial future.

Details of the restructuring plan are not being made public but staff and unions have been informed and a month-long consultation period has begun.

Totton College's interim principal Mark Sellis said: "We have to make sure the college is ready to meet the challenges of the future.

"Change is therefore inevitable. This is a very difficult time for these staff in particular but also for everyone at Totton College who has worked tirelessly and with great professionalism over the years."

The further education provider sought a merger with a partner organisation in spring 2015 to help tackle its "growing financial challenges".

County councillor David Harrison, who represents South Totton, said: "The college is now offering a reduced service but a better quality offering with much more focus on providing students with skills and qualifications likely to gain them a job.

"It's a great pity that significant jobs will be lost during the restructure but I hope in time as the college improves we will see expansion again and more jobs."

In April, the college told students it was scrapping A-levels to focus on vocational qualifications, forcing 90 students find alternative college places from September.

Nacro has previously said it is not intending to create a specialist college for ex-offenders.

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