Scottish Conservative MSPs have expressed their concerns on hearing that Perth College UHI is planning to axe 21 jobs due to financial difficulties.
Murdo Fraser described the announcement as a “worrying time” for staff at the college, while his colleague, Liz Smith, branded the news as “very disturbing.”
Dr Margaret Cook, Principal of Perth College UHI, has said there will be an estimated 21 redundancies as college bosses plan to make savings of around £600,000.
Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said the Scottish Government must take some blame for the situation at Perth College UHI.
He said: “This is very concerning news and is a worrying time for staff.
“Concerns about the financial position at Perth College UHI are not new, but these issues are more serious than before. There will be an impact not just on staff but also on students.”
He continued: “Wider issues about the level of funding for higher and further education in Scotland are well documented. The SNP-run Scottish Government must take the share of responsibility for allowing this situation to develop at Perth College UHI.
“An Audit Scotland report published last month, found that in real terms, Scottish Government funding for universities fell by 12% between 2010 and 2017. Their report also found that in the three years to 2017/18, the Scottish budget decreased by 5% and funding for higher education fell by 7%.”
And Liz Smith, who also represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, added: “This is very disturbing news not just for the city of Perth, but for all those other areas of Perth and Kinross which have been supported by the college for educational outreach.
“There is no doubt that the college sector is facing severe financial constraints under the SNP. This latest news shows the extent of the effects on local people.”