18 September 1998
‘New Deal’ job-scheme farm college loses jobs

By FWi staff

AN AGRICULTURAL college involved in a Government scheme to get unemployed people back to work has plans to make at least four lecturers redundant.

Kirkley Hall College, on the outskirts of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, blamed a lack of financial resources for the decision to lay off the staff. The exact number of redundancies is expected to be confirmed within three weeks.

Iain Owens of the lecturers union NATFHE said some lecturers had already been given notice earlier this week.

“Im not disputing that there are some financial difficulties,” he said. “What Ive said all along is that the starting point shouldnt be that therefore we should sack teachers.”

Earlier this year, Kirkley Hall developed several training programmes to complement the Governments New Deal scheme aimed at finding jobs for the unemployed.

Junior farm minister Jeff Rooker visited Kirkley Hall last May. He praised the colleges involvement in finding jobs for the unemployed. “I am very pleased to see the agri-food business sector playing its part in the New Deal,” said Mr Rooker.

Kirkley Hall College is the only provider of further education for agriculture and other land-based industries in Northumberland. The colleges shepherd training facilities are the base for the National Shepherd Training Centre.