Scottish Government plans mean the number of colleges are to be reduced by more than a third, and continuing budget cuts to existing colleges. £35 million is being cut from Scottish College budgets this year alone. Local college, Reid Kerr, has seen it's budget slashed by £1 million and these cuts meant a forced slashing of almost 500 student places as term started last August.
The courses affected ranged from Mechanical Engineering to Fabrication and Welding, from Electronics to Architecture. At a time when almost 1,000 local young people have now been without a job for over six months these cuts are stripping away opportunity and hope from our area.
Now is the time to be training these young people with the skills they require, for the jobs they need and our economy needs.
From August 2013 Reid Kerr will be merged with James Watt College in Greenock, and Clydebank College. One College for the West of Scotland Region will emerge. No doubt the Board, the Principal and all the staff at each College campus will work hard to provide the very best they can - but there will be no avoiding the fact that this streamlining will mean courses migrated to particular campuses, with the obvious geography implications for students. Some courses once taught in all three of these local communities may face a centralising move to one campus and then present real travel difficulties for some students. Sadly previous opportunities will simply be taken away for some young people.
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