College Merger

September 21st, 2011

Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil has expressed concern at plans to merge James Watt College with Reid Kerr in Paisley.

Education secretary Mike Russell revealed he is to set up regional clusters of college through forced mergers and has put an amalgamation of James Watt and Reid Kerr on his agenda.

They are to form the new west region under the controversial shake-up.

The local MSP fears that local decisions on funding and course provision will be taken in Paisley.

He said: “The James Watt College has been at the heart of this community for many years, helping people from Inverclyde gain the skills to get their first job or their next job.

“I have very real fears that this distinct identity which has been established at the James Watt over many years will be threatened by a forced merger.

“Rather than simply cutting costs, the Scottish Government must working with colleges like James Watt to find the best way of allowing people the opportunity to learn and develop new skills.”