Clydebank College, where lecturers are threatening to strike. Picture by Bill Heaney
By Lizzie Healey
Dumbarton and Helensburgh MSP Jackie Baillie has called for more investment in Scotland’s colleges as new analysis from Scottish Labour shows that there has been a 13.5% reduction in full-time equivalent staff in Scotland’s colleges since the SNP took power in 2007.
Statistics from the Scottish Funding Council show that in 2007/08 there were 12,653 FTE staff, while now there are just 10,942 FTE staff, a drop of 1,711. In addition, the analysis shows that there has been a 12.7% reduction in FTE teaching staff over the same period, a cut of 799.
The news comes as college lecturers consider further industrial action over a pay dispute.
The MSP said: “Colleges are the key to jobs and growth, and play an important role in widening access to opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
“Since the SNP took power further education in Scotland has suffered. The sector has lost more than £1 billion of investment, student numbers have plummeted by 120,000 and staff numbers have also declined.
“On top of this, staff and students are working in buildings in need of repairs totalling hundreds of millions of pounds. And hard working lecturers are now engaged in industrial action over a cost-of-living pay rise to which they are entitled to.
“For too long further education has been seen by the SNP as the poor relation. That must end.”
Analysis of staffing levels reveals the following cuts under the SNP.