Loss of students leads to job cuts at St Brelade's College

On re-opening in July this year the college had just 15 students. Credit: ITV Channel TV

St Brelade's College in Jersey, which teaches English to international students, has announced a number of redundancies in its battle to keep the business going with no customers.

Its Principal, Sid Brown, says they have been left with little choice after their student market vanished - first due to lockdown, and then to further travel restrictions later in the year.

It's been a disaster, we've not really been able to open all year. We had to close right at the beginning of March. We had school groups booked in but we had to close then. We were able to re-open in July but that had to stop after about four weeks, because France went into Amber, and that finished it for us, so it's been difficult.

Sid Brown, Principal of St Brelade's College

College staff have done their best to adapt to pandemic restrictions. Some lessons have been moved online, and face to face lessons have continued for a small local market. But from a business perspective what remains bears no comparison to operations at the height of summer, when they would host as many as 400 students per week.

On re-opening in July this year they had just 15 students. Their student accommodation, which normally provides another revenue stream, also stands empty, as the French students who occupied the rooms during term-time have all decided to study remotely this year. Combined with the reduction in payroll co-funding, Mr Brown says they were left with little choice but to make half the staff redundant by the end of October.

The tapering of co-funding effectively means we're not able to support our full staff. We've got eight at the moment, plus myself and my wife so with the tapering of co-funding it's just not viable.

Sid Brown, Principal of St Brelade's College

The government has promised further support for businesses that have been disproportionately impacted.

We have been working closely with businesses and representative organisations, and officers have been asked to prepare an additional support package for those firms that have been particularly severely affected by the pandemic due to government guidelines. The final details are being prepared and these will be ready for consideration by the Council of Ministers shortly.

Senator Lyndon Farnham, Jersey's Minster for Economic Development