Two Walsall colleges could join forces in a move to reduce costs.
The Department for Education, DfE, has recommended Walsall College and Walsall Adult Community College, WACC, should explore a partnership to ‘reduce overlap’, share services and slash costs.
The proposal has been revealed by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership LEP. It is unclear if jobs will be impacted.
It comes as WACC is in the process of becoming independent from Walsall Council due to Government cuts in the authority’s funding – a move which bosses said at the time would help safeguard its future
The establishment caters for 5,000 students and employs around 150 people across its two sites in Hawbush Road, Leamore, and Whitehall Centre, Caldmore.
The DfE’s report which has been published by the Black Country LEP said: “Walsall Adult and Community College is an Ofsted outstanding provider that is only two miles away from Walsall College and offers a broad range of community provision and some apprenticeship learning.
“It is in the process of becoming stand-alone from Walsall Council by 2017 and is in discussion with Walsall College about the potential for working collaboratively to reduce any overlap in provision, recognising that the student profiles are different, and to consider the potential for shared services and marketing strategies in order to reduce costs.”
Initial financial assessments of the college have already been made.
The report published by the LEP continued: “While initial financial assessment and college accounts indicate this college is in a strong position, with the financial resilience needed to remain stand-alone, the college wishes to explore opportunities to develop its provision in partnership with others to improve the offer for local learners and employers.”
As reported by the Express & Star last year the Government had already advised Walsall College merge with South Staffordshire College to form a single entity.
That proposal is also likely to see job affected with the DfE stating the benefits will see rationalisation of ‘back office and other services’.
Neither college was available for comment.Subscribe to our Newsletter