What would ‘Brexit’ mean to education and employment?

‘Skills Minister Nick Boles has reportedly warned that Brexit could put an end to the apprenticeship levy.

He spoke out on the issue during a recent event in Westminster, organised by Policy Exchange.

He was reported, in City AM, as asking: “Do you think the chancellor will feel it is prudent to introduce a new payroll tax in the middle of a recession, when business confidence has been knocked by a decision to leave the single market and unemployment is rising?”’ – FE Week

‘Ministers campaigning to leave the European Union say that they will “continue to fund EU programmes in the UK until 2020” in the event of a Brexit, including research funding.

But the pledge in an open letter from senior Vote Leave figures, including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, prompted Universities UK to observe that EU support “goes far beyond money” in terms of increasing international research collaboration.

Mr Gove has already appeared to indicate his belief that any Brexit would not be completed before 2020, when the EU's current research funding framework programme, Horizon 2020, expires. The Vote Leave letter does not give any assurances for the period beyond 2020.

UUK, which is running a campaign to highlight what it sees as the benefits of EU membership, puts the value of EU research funding to British universities at £1.2 billion a year.’ – Times Higher Education

‘A 2011 study by Dustmann and Frattini of the impact of migration on public services suggested that there has already been a shift by EU migrants away from the health sector to education. They note that immigrants from the European Economic Area made up 40% of the health and social work sector in 1994-96 but this had declined to 29% by 2008-10. About 4% of GPs – 1,600 – working in Britain qualified to practise in other EU countries.

Over the same period, the proportion of EEA migrants in the education workforce rose from 27% to 37.5%. The evidence shows that those working in education, particularly higher education, are likely to be the kind of highly-skilled graduates who would qualify under any points-based programme. The largest group of EU migrants working in schools are likely to be those from Irish Republic, whom the Leavers have already said would be exempted from any general clampdown on EU migration.’ - Guardian

‘the European Social Fund (ESF) supports employment and promotes economic and social cohesion in areas of high disadvantage. The loss of the ESF would leave a black hole in local government finances: currently the cash, running into millions is used to fund education and skills, services for supporting disabled people and schemes to help young people into work.

Between 2014-2020, the EU has committed, through 17 national and regional programmes, total funding of €16.4bn (£13bn). Of this €3.6bn is ERDF funding and €3.5bn ESF funding. The leave campaign will argue that the cost of EU membership outweighs this prospective loss, but there are no pledges to ensure any redistributed or repatriated money post-Brexit would go to the most disadvantaged areas and be given to councils. Experience shows this is unlikely: after six years of cuts, the poorest areas of Britain have suffered disproportionately.

EU cash could bankroll new jobs, apprenticeships, business support and infrastructure in communities recently hit by the collapse of the steel industry. But in a Brexit Britain no EU lifeline will be thrown to communities in the UK’s neglected post-industrial economy.’

Dawn Foster Contributing editor, Guardian housing network

Go Back