THE Gordon has swung the axe on another 55 jobs and will drop 27 courses as it deals with State Government cuts to the TAFE sector.
The job cuts come on top of two rounds of voluntary redundancies at The Gordon this year, taking the total number of losses to 89, The Geelong Advertiser reports.
Staff and students were briefed yesterday afternoon on the changes.
As part of its response to funding cuts, The Gordon will:
DISCONTINUE 27 courses in the areas of sport and recreation, hospitality, retail and visual arts;
ADD 23 courses next year, including biotechnology, health, small business and community services;
INCREASE the number of online courses;
RETAIN campuses in the city and East Geelong, as well as key facilities including libraries and training restaurants;
OFFER the VET in Schools program in 2013.
Students already studying in the affected courses will be able to complete their studies.
The Gordon CEO Grant Sutherland said the 27 courses lost was fewer than the 46 it had previously feared were at risk of being cut and it was hoped they may be offered again in the future.
Most job losses will be in management.
"This is a really difficult day, we are losing great staff and quality staff," Mr Sutherland said. "It is little consolation to the staff impacted, but through some hard work and innovation, higher numbers (of job losses) have been avoided."
One teacher who has lost their position said the news was heartbreaking.
"I've likened it to a tsunami - you knew it was coming but you don't know how big it is going to be until it hits," said the teacher, who did not wish to be named.
"It's not the institute's fault, it's the State Government and I don't know that Ted Baillieu appreciates or can even fathom what it's like."
Staff were advised to take time to decide on either redundancy packages or limited redeployment opportunities.
"For me, at the moment I'll go down that redeployment pathway because I don't know where else to go in Geelong," the teacher said.
The Australian Education Union feared job losses at The Gordon could reach 100, on top of fixed-term contract and sessional teachers who wouldn't return.
"For this to happen six weeks out from Christmas is just appalling," the union's state assistant secretary, Greg Barclay, said. "The atmosphere at The Gordon for the year so far has been horrible, but we are hearing people are absolutely devastated by this latest news."
Opposition higher skills and education spokesman Steve Herbert said it was another blow for the region.
"The tragedy is this won't be the end of the cuts, with more job losses expected to be announced across Victoria well into 2013," he said.
Geelong mayor Keith Fagg said he was concerned for those who had lost their jobs.
"The Gordon is an important part of the fabric of Geelong and the city will do all it can to work alongside the Gordon," he said.
Mr Sutherland said the Gordon would continue to play a leading role in the region's development.
Read more at The Geelong Advertiser