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Northern Ireland college may axe 30 teaching jobs

By Anne Madden

As many as 30 full-time teaching jobs could be axed at the North West Regional College as a result of imminent public funding cuts.

College management met with a teachers’ union last Thursday and indicated the possibility of redundancies.

The North West Regional College delivers courses at nine locations throughout Strabane, Limavady and Londonderry, with students and staff attending from across the region and as far as Donegal.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the college said the job losses would have “a huge impact” on the region and that staff and management would “do everything in their power to minimise redundancies”.

However, Sinn Fein councillor Maeve McLaughlin criticised the announcement as being premature.

“College management are saying these redundancies are part of cuts but that is unacceptable. We don’t even know what the budget will be from the Coalition government yet, so how can they identify 30 job losses,” she said.

Ms McLaughlin said Derry had identified a number of catalyst projects as part of the city’s regeneration. Two of these projects are investment in further and higher education and the expansion of Magee College in Derry.

“This announcement flies in the face of these key projects,” she said. “We must make sure frontline services and these projects are protected from spending cuts.

“To lose so many teaching staff would be a devastating blow to the college and the staff involved.”

Ms McLaughlin added that by reducing teaching posts, the quality and availability of courses would be threatened.

“Students will simply vote with their feet and go elsewhere for their education which would be a major blow to the region,” she said.

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