Union bosses have condemned plans which could lead to almost 70 jobs being axed at Newcastle College.
The college, which caters for 23,000 full and part-time students and employs almost 1,000 teaching staff, said funding cuts were to blame.
Talks were taking place between college heads and the University and College Union (UCU) on Wednesday.
The union said it was "angry and amazed" at the planned cuts, which it said involved 68 staff.
The college said it had to protect the interests of learners.
UCU branch secretary David O'Toole said: "I am amazed that the college can seek to make job cuts, when it only recently asked staff to work a late shift at its monthly open night because it could not cope with the increased demand for its courses caused by the recession.
"I will be seeking assurances from our constituency MP that no further grants for training jobseekers will go to colleges which are themselves adding unnecessarily to the unemployment figures."
Jackie Fisher, chief executive of Newcastle College Group said: "Due to the need to reduce costs as a result of a revised allocation of funding during the next academic year, it is with regret that there are proposed redundancies affecting staff at Newcastle College.
"Protecting the interests of our learners and ensuring quality across all our teaching and learning remains our top priority.
"We have entered into full consultation with the appropriate employee representatives and we will be talking to staff regularly throughout this process."