A major overhaul at Auckland tertiary education provider Unitec will see up to 300 jobs go, it has confirmed.
The cuts are part of a $250 million Mt Albert campus redevelopment project, which will see student services privatised, the campus downsized and faculties rearranged to align with industry sectors.
The decision was released today after three months consultation. The provider says the changes are due to transformation in the tertiary sector and rapid advances in technology.
A press release from Chief Executive Rick Ede read: "Both proposals are about delivering better outcomes for students, communities, and public and private enterprise and will result in reductions in staff numbers."
He said collectively the changes would result in 87 redundancies, with 55 positions made redundant due to the partnership with Concentrix, although it was "understood" staff would have the opporunity to apply for new positions there.
"Aligning more closely with industry" would result in 32 positions being made redundant and 52 new positions being created, and in 138 roles being disestablished.
"The end goal of our transformation is to ensure Unitec graduates are highly enterprising, employable and meet the future needs of private and public enterprise," said Mr Ede. "Over time, students will benefit from much more flexible study options designed to meet the needs of their future employers"
"We also want to offer the best possible customer service to our students. Concentrix are specialists in customer-centric service provision, and this partnership will ensure we achieve this while allowing us to focus on what we do best; delivering strong educational outcomes for our students."
The Delivery Centre has created over 700 new jobs in the last two and a half years, with more than 350 of the positions filled by Unitec students combining work and study.
He said the shift to new teaching models and "efficiencies created by technology would result in cumulative reductions of 200 to 300 or more jobs from current staff levels over the next three years. This would be through natural attrition, voluntary redundancies and reductions arising out of organisational change projects.
Staff will be consulted on the next phases of both proposals early next year.
TEU national president Sandra Grey called the changed to the call centre a "travesty".
Ms Grey said most TEU members' jobs were not directly affected by today's announcement because the union represents mostly academic staff at the polytechnic, but they were deeply concerned about the impact the restructuring will have on their administration colleagues and their students.
Sid Suha Aksoy, who works at Unitec says staff are in shock.
"I am very disappointed. Unitec has not listened to all our positive approaches. We are really worried about what this means for our colleagues, friends and, naturally, our students. We can't see why Unitec would want to fix something that works so well."
Aksoy says union members will protest the decision next Friday, 13 November.
Unitec is also undergoing a physical rebuild, with plans in place to create more modern learning spaces and sell off part of the 53.5 hectare Albert site to residential and commercial development.
Dr Ede has said the institute could squeeze into 10ha of its site, selling or leasing the remaining 43ha in a 20- to 30-year scheme.
Initial ideas included turning the history ex-Carrington Psychiatric Hospital - a heritage building - into apartments.
It would also see forensic psychiatric unit, the Mason Clinic, removed.