A HAMPSHIRE university is advertising for a chauffeur for senior staff - just days after announcing 75 jobs cuts.

Southampton University posted the vacancy for a chauffeur caretaker whose responsibilities will include providing a “chauffeur and car service to the university executives and visiting dignitaries” including the Vice-Chancellor.

As previously reported scores of jobs hang in the balance in what union leaders have called “rushed and dangerous” cuts.

Lecturers at the university have been told that the institution needs to run more “efficiently and effectively” – and will it need to reduce the number of staff it has through a voluntary severance scheme .

The chauffeur job is advertised at a salary of £19,850 - £23,557 pro rata for the 25 hour a week part time position.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Christopher Snowden - who was paid £352,000 from October 2015 to July 2016 and got a 1.1 per cent pay rise last year - will be among those to occasionally use the chauffeur.

But unions have called the advert “insulting”.

University and College Union general secretary Sally Hunt said: ‘For years UCU has been highlighting how out of touch vice-chancellors look when it comes to their own pay and perks.

“They are happy to keep down staff pay and conditions yet see nothing wrong with accepting inflation-busting pay rises and all the perks. Advertising for a chauffeur for the executives while threatening to axe as many as 75 academic posts is insulting and shows contempt for the staff. This move will, understandably, raise further questions about the priorities of the senior managers at Southampton.’

But a university spokesperson said: “The advertisement is one of many that have been processed this week. It’s for an existing role and is seeking a replacement for a colleague who is retiring.

“The role is for a member of our Estates team to serve part time in a care-taking role and part-time as chauffeur for a University pool car used by visitors and senior members of staff, including the Vice-Chancellor (a minority user of this service), so they can work while in transit. The driver also has another job within the university. The vehicle is only used in the context of work-related travel.”

He added that the post is “not a personal chauffeur or ‘VC chauffeur’ as he does not have first call on the use of the vehicle and does not make use of the car privately”.

“The Vice Chancellor travels to and from work in his own car for which he pays the university parking charge,” he said.