Job losses at the agricultural training institute Telford have been made official.

Staff at the training institute near Balclutha were told yesterday who no longer had a job, as part of the liquidation process and the takeover by the Southland Institute of Technology.

Operations manager Lisa Snell confirmed the redundancies were announced yesterday but she would not comment on how many staff were affected or in what areas the cuts were made.

"It's been a bloody tough day," she said.

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SIT chief executive Penny Simmonds said it was the liquidator who made the decision about redundancies, so she was unable to comment on the details.

New contracts had been offered to about 20 people for both full- and part-time positions, Simmonds said.

Before Telford was placed in interim liquidation, at the request of its board in December, the institute had 33 full- and part-time employees.

There were still issues which needed to be sorted but the institute was expected to open on Monday, she said.

"There's still a few loose ends to tie up with agreements and that sort of thing with the liquidator, and there's a lot of work we're doing with programme accreditation."

Tertiary Education Union organiser Kris Smith said those who had lost their jobs worked across the institute.

SIT had done its best to retain who it could in a complicated situation and in a short space of time, she said.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said the announcement was a sad but inevitable part of the process.

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"My thoughts are with those who have lost their jobs. I've felt sick all day with it, but unfortunately, it's an unavoidable part of the process."

Until yesterday, staff were unaware of who would be made redundant, Mr Cadogan said.

There were a lot of jobs available in the district and provisions had already been made to ensure those who had lost their jobs could find new ones.

"For the tight-knit and spirited group Telford is, this is a day they will all feel."