18 April 2019

There has been a 13.5 per cent reduction in full-time equivalent (FTE) staff in Scotland’s colleges since the SNP took power in 2007, new analysis from Scottish Labour reveals.

Statistics from the Scottish Funding Council show that in 2007/08, there were 12,653 FTE staff, while there are just 10,942 now, a cut of 1,711.

Analysis also reveals that there has been a 12.7 per cent reduction in the level of FTE teaching staff over the same period – a cut of 799.

The SNP regionalised colleges in 2013, a move opposed by unions and Labour.

As college lecturers consider further industrial action over a pay dispute, Labour said the figures highlight the SNP’s failure within Scotland’s further education sector.

Iain Gray MSP, Labour’s education spokesperson said:

“Colleges are key to jobs and growth, not to mention their important role in widening access to opportunities for disadvantaged young people.

“Since the SNP took power, and their subsequent botched regionalisation of the sector, further education in Scotland has suffered.

"Colleges have faced under investment, students have seen their numbers plummet by 120,000 and staff numbers have also declined.

“What’s more, staff and students are working in buildings in need of repairs totalling hundreds of millions of pounds.

“Hardworking lecturers are now also engaged in industrial action over a cost-of-living pay rise to which they are entitled.

“For too long further education has been seen by the SNP as the poor relation.

"That must end.”

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