KIRKLEES College has had £800,000 slashed from its budget.
The money it receives for adult education classes has been reduced by 10%, which translates into a reduction of £800,000 in funding for this year.
The college is 80% Government-funded and it is feared that many evening classes will be axed in September.
Kirklees College disclosed the financial situation after a tip-off to the Examiner.
The person, who asked not to be named, said the sweeping cuts would result in adults, who want to study subjects such as computing or a second language, missing out.
They said: “New proposals could see centres for evening classes closing as pernicious requirements are put into place.”
Chris Sadler, Kirklees College Principal, would not reveal where the cuts would be made but said: “It is unclear how these changes will impact on our college but we are working hard to minimise the effect on the students and communities we represent.
“However, nationally these cuts will have an impact, not only on the students and the communities colleges serve so well, but also on the government’s own ambitions for further and higher education.
“Any suggestion that colleges can keep the same number of adult students by simply expanding the number of fee-paying places ignores the current economic climate and people’s ability to pay.”
A spokesman for the College, which has bases in Huddersfield and Dewsbury, said they would fight to make the government aware of the likely impact of the changes.
He added that the college would like to be given the freedom to manage budgets more flexibly in order to help mitigate against the effects.
A new campus is planned by Kirklees College as part of The Waterfront project, off Chapel Hill. Funding for that is not affected by the new announcement.
Nationally, £200m of cuts are proposed in adult education. Colleges, the biggest providers of vocational training in Britain, have been told their ‘adult learner responsive’ budgets will shrink.
Every UK college will be hit by a funding reduction between 10% – 25%.
The Association of Colleges say courses varying from bricklaying, joinery, plastering, plumbing, catering, youth work qualifications IT, engineering and British sign language are among those which could be affected.
Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “At a time when colleges are helping Britain beat the recession they are facing the prospect of having to cut courses for adults.
“They understand how tough public finances are, but they don’t want to lose high quality courses that are essential to our economic recovery and make a great deal of difference to people and businesses across Britain.
“We are calling on the government to allow colleges to be more flexible with their funding so that they can help support these courses, where possible, by transferring money between budgets – something they are not allowed to do currently.”
Nationally, colleges face an average cut of 16%. They train around three million students every year and almost half (45%) of vocational courses are provided in colleges.